The Things We Learnt

This is a poem I wrote after visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau in February. It was a harrowing experience, and really opened my eyes. You can buy the spoken word version of this poem! Here's the link: http://poeticchances.bandcamp.com/releases - A/N: I know the formatting on this poem is dodgy, I'm trying my best to fix it.

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1. The Things We Learnt.

When I was ten, I read another girl’s diary,
 heartfelt book with her hopes and dreams
inscribed on rationed pages.
It felt like an invasion of privacy,
wrong to know what she was thinking.
I didn’t want people to read my diary,
so what gave me the right to read hers?
When I asked my teacher, she replied
‘Education.’
I never understood how imposing myself
on this girl’s thoughts could ever,
would ever, teach me something.
How being bigoted and thinking
that her opinions were wrong could show me
what life was like back then.
How wrong I was.
I didn’t understand it until now.
We arrived in a much bigger capsule ~
of metal and of space, but the effect,
oh the effect was always the same.
Walking beneath the archway of broken hopes
and trampled dreams, treading the same ground
as abandoned ghosts who deny those with
good intentions and the kind-hearted
the ability to change what happened in the past.
The cries of so many still going unheard
because they’re calling from
below the ground we walk on. Evidence
carelessly and messily destroyed
in an attempt to cover up the obvious
eradication of human souls.
In a world of good people, evil always
outweighs the good in the eyes of a leader.
The hands clasped together in mock unity ~
begin to close in on those without the ability
to unite with those who are different, and change them.
It was not about difference, but misunderstanding
on a greater scale than in domesticity,
hopeless causes abandoned to follow a cause
much greater, without those they grew up with.
It sounds like something dramatically beautiful,
sacrificing all you knew for bigger, better things.
But the reality breaks the hearts of many
without ringing true in the minds of others.
When will the people learn that broken hearts
Never heal after death, never accept their losses?
How long until It happens again,
A man rising above the rest in power and self love
With the incompetence to think of another beneath him
As worthless and beneath him? All men were created equal,
Every man woman and child with rights
And the ability to live in harmony despite
The anger in their minds? We are merely human. Capable of
So much more than we give ourselves credit for.
We can learn from our mistakes,
And yet we ignore the biggest one of all.

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