a pilgrimage

Way off the roads that make up maps
Her grandfather is buried;
They found it on a summer day,
Out in the country, far away,
Somewhere that time misplaced.

A thing she’d longed to know for long,
A sight she yearned to see:
Amid the farms and forest green,
A place forgotten, rarely seen,
Inscription half-erased —

But here, she thought, was once a man
Uprooting family, all he had,
To travel to an unknown place
And take his chance. Within a year
Of that time, hell descended on
The country he had left, and all
Remaining family perished.

And there would be no her, if he,
This unknown man she never met,
Had not left Poland long ago,
To live and die out in this stretch
Of country, far beyond the reach
Of those who meant to do him so much harm.

A stone is placed upon a grave,
A car comes out an old dirt road,
And some there are who still remember:
Some there are who can not
Will not
Shall not

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