Howard Firkin
(written after a visit to the Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas, Berlin 2010)
In Berlin they can stomach them. So where’s
the Denkmal for the boongs? Don’t they deserve
it yet? A somewhere we can go observe
a moment’s peace? Somewhere the nation shares
its grief for all our unrecorded crimes?
It’s not enough to mumble sorries. One
day we must mark in stone, in time, in light,
our knowledge: we can never make this right,
but we can tell the future what was done,
accepting judgement of those future times.

Our history is not our map. It’s just
the road remembered, but if we forget,
if we can’t recognise faint tracks in dust,
then we deserve the future that we’ll get.