Reflections on “I will outlive them” by Ami Weintraub

This poem is titled “I will outlive them” and is written by Devon Speir. I’ve been carrying these words with me as I move through these sites of immense loss and death. I ask myself, what lives on of the people who were murdered in the Holocaust? How do I acknowledge their life and death and honor who they are? How do we as a Jewish people continue to live with this pain?

Feeling the eternal life that pulses through the earth has grounded me during this trip. At the Jewish cemetery in Berlin-Mitte, the community has invited the ivy to hold the complexity of gestapo members buried amidst Jewish bodies. I saw the 100 year old trees outside the wansee mansion and the purple flowers growing across from the Nazi documentation site.

I come to visit these sites of trauma and I also see the flowers. I know that the earth helps carry both my deep pain and the whispers of enduring life.

“I will outlive them” Devon Speir

when i say “i will outlive them”

i mean

my body

long lying in a blanket of earth

enjoining the soil

the fabric

of a new shelter

and the flowers

people would come from miles around

to smell and sit amongst the flowers

a garden for all the Others

and i, us, We

the perpetual next Creation

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