“OFTEN A MINUTE”: Poetry from Pearls and Lace


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Editor’s Note:
The changing political atmosphere, the continued progressive persecution of Jews in Europe scared and deeply affected Magda, as we see it in the poem:

Often a minute, a day, seem so slight.
My eyes glance at the news with fright
And I’m afraid to turn the radio on,
For again I hear of Jewish persecution.

First germany, then Vienna:
Today Italy also enters the arena.
Even she can’t stand these people
Who never did her any evil.

They haven’t harmed, yet are disliked
And thrown prey to insult.
The youth that longs to live,
Is choked before it has a chance to breath.

Why are we uselessly persecuted?
Why is out fate so desolate?

But fight and contempt give us strength
To bear the filth of hatred.
And shaking off every speck of dust
This indestructible nation shall stand just.

For Jewish brothers, let’s not despair!
Our day, too, shall once come through
And the sun will brightly be shining.
Brothers, the Jewish spring will be arriving!

by Magdalena Klein

From Magdalena Klein, Susan Geroe (editor) Pearls and Lace.
Copyright © 1996 Fithian Press. Excerpts used by permission of editor.