the last, the very last,
so richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing
against a white stone. . . .
such, such a yellow
is carried lightly ‘way up high.
it went away I’m sure because it wished to
kiss the world good-bye.
for seven weeks I’ve lived in here,
penned up inside this ghetto.
but I have found what I love here.
the dandelions call to me
and the white chestnut branches in the court.
only I never saw another butterfly.
that butterfly was the last one.
butterflies don’t live in here,
in the ghetto.
heart-wrenchingly sad with a glimmer of hope, this has always been my favorite poem. pavel friedman was only 21 when he wrote this while living in the concentration camp terezin. his words bring tears to my eyes every time.
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