Gloucester, England,1945
word was everywhere
unseen all through the war
a newsreel

no unaccompanied children
a challenge too irresistible
I put on a beggar face
a stranger took my shilling
bought me a ticket.

the concentration camp at Belsen
liberated by helmeted Tommies
who wipe their weeping away

children my age
striped pyjamas
heads shaved like turnips
frozen eyes
peering across
coiled snakes of barbed wire

of naked stick-thin corpses
stacked like driftwood.