You are welcome to download and share “Tattoo”:
A song about the Holocaust. Chosen by the government of the Netherlands to represent their country during the European celebration of the 50th year since WW II ended. Admired by Elie Wiesel in a personal letter to me. And now, a commentary on Trump and his administration, who don’t dare utter the word “Jew” or the phrase “anti-Semitism” as they pretend to care about Holocaust Remembrance Day.
To my friends who say “His son-in-law is Jewish. It’s OK.” I say, it is NOT OK. It is a disgrace. Steve Bannon is drafting the executive orders for our country, while the ostensible leader of the free world spends his time complaining on Twitter and watching television, where he can change the channels often enough to suit a toddler’s attention span.
I remember riding in a cab with my former manager 40 years ago, when I was 25. The newscaster commented that gay people should not be permitted to teach in the schools, and my manager said “They shouldn’t be allowed around young children. Absolutely correct.”
In confusion, I said “But... I’m ‘them.’ I’m gay.” And her response? “Oh, but you’re one of the ‘good ones.’”
There will always be those who say “You’re one of the good Jews” “one of the good blacks” “one of the good gays.”
My friends, do not believe that will save you from the knock in the night.
Her new name was tattooed to her wrist
It was longer than the old one
Sealed in the silence with a fist
This night will be a cold one
Centuries live in her eyes
Destiny laughs over jack-booted thighs
“Work makes us free” says the sign
Nothing leaves here alive
She steps out of line to the left, and her father to the right
One sides a cold, clean death. The other is an endless night
Gold from a grandmother’s tooth.
Mountains of jewelry and toys.
piled in the corners, mailed across the borders
Presents for the girls and boys.
Presents for the girls and boys
It gets darker every night
Spread-eagled out among the stars, she says
“Somewhere in this tunnel lives a light
“Still my beating heart
“I have never known a man
“What man will want me now?
“Am I still alive, somehow?
“If I can survive, somehow
Soldiers from the other side liberated them at dawn
Gave her water, gave her life. She still had all her clothes on
She lived until she died. Empty as the autumn leaves that fly
Surgeons took the mark, but they could not take it far
It was written on her heart
Written on her empty heart