Oh Father, where is the light you promised?
How long must I endure?

These men have no souls;
Even cruel old Pharaoh must have shown
More pity to his slaves.
I cannot recall even the face of the sun,
And there is no moon or star here.
It is a nightmare without beginning or end;
How many days have past?
I know only that I am hungry and that I'm getting weaker,

And I'm beginning to see things in the darkness,
Hear terrible things which make me shudder.
They murdered my mother;
I do not know where my father is,
There is only the whisper of the Erlking, his solemn promise:
That this and all else shall pass.

I stopped screaming long ago, ceased weeping.
I don't think there's any soul on this earth to hear me.
At least in the camps I might have known company;
Here my thoughts alone must mark the time,
My decomposing thoughts,
Growing dimmer as they fuse with the scent of the unmarked earth
I shall rest in.

Why? Shall I ask why?
I only wanted to marry, and to raise children like all the other girls.
Instead I lie,
Forgotten in deepest night


oh Father,
     where is the light you promised?


George Chadderdon © 2000