All Gone

his father told him

not to worry

and to meet him


after dinner

by the fence

that separated

where the boys lived

and the men lived

and so he did


and the minutes

they had together

were all that was left

his mother

and sister

were somewhere else

in that awful place

where people screamed

and disappeared

and there was very little food

and it was cold

and he had to pretend

to be older

like his father told him

because younger boys

are taken somewhere

and never return

he did not know why

they were taken from their home

so many

such a long trip







so each day

he went to that fence

for many months

as his father grew thinner

and his mother

and sister

were somewhere else

I love you, said father

be strong

be brave

work hard

come tomorrow

my son

and so he did

except his father

was not there

that day

or the next day

or any other day


and all that he had

was all gone

in that awful place

called Auschwitz

6 thoughts on “All Gone

  1. this is a heartbreaker.. cuts deep. i visited the Dachau concentration camp a few years back, and the moment you stepped onto the grounds, it was like the air changed. the mood changed. there are no words to describe it. i was seventeen and i didn’t have a clue… but right then and there i felt it. i understood.


    • It is a heartbreaker and I cannot read it without crying, as I did when I wrote it. I have imagined myself visiting one of those camps and I know exactly what would happen…..I would be so grief stricken as to be overwhelmed and undone. Unable to continue my visit I would just freaking sob, feeling the souls, absorbing the horror.
      Thank you for commenting on this. It means the world to me.


    • That you could feel it so deeply says much about you. I am never far from the grief and horror. Add a fair amount of anger and you know who I am. I lost great grandparents to the Nazis.
      It’s good having you as a reader and your blog is fabulous and fun.


  2. You know, I couldn’t comment just after reading this. I had to cry for bit, after trying not to. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything so beautiful that hurt so much to read. It was like being there, watching them, day after day. I felt the cold. Then I felt the boy’s emptiness… that did me in.


  3. Mike, why have you stopped writing? Or why have I missed your writing? I only know you through your photography but there is so much more depth here- though I never doubted you had such depths! My wife and I share a fascination and horror with this period of history.


    • Read Jesus and the $20 bill under memoirs. It got freshly pressed. Taking pictures is easier than writing and I am, by nature, lazy. But writing gives me much more pleasure, truth be told.
      As a Jewish person you might imagine my own horror which includes family members who were killed. Maybe that’s why I keep that sword we talked about. And a 38 special we have not talked about. Another memoir is called No Hesitation, about something that happened when I was in college.
      Thanks, Emilio.


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