Student Page 17.3

Two Voices

Hiding in a secret annex,
Taken to a place of
death and suffering.
Like others of her kind,
six million.
Anne taken to concentration camps,
Beloved friends and family
quickly vanish.
Scared in haunted rooms at Bergen-Belsen
sleeping on forgotten wooden slats.
Silently waiting for
something to come, anything,
death or freedom.
Eating when she can
the hard bread and
dirty water that came.
Feeling cold drafts drifting in,
struggling to be warm.
Wearing the yellow star,
a sign of Judaism.
Suffering in sickness alone.
Anne’s last beliefs,
“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all
my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible
to carry out. Yet I keep them because, in spite of everything,
I still believe people are really good at heart.”
Silently waiting,
So fearful to be taken away.
One hundred and twelve thousand
Japanese Americans.
Yuki to relocation camps
Alone at night, thinking of her long-gone brother.
Playing in a cramped, frigid
house with Kay-ko.
Preparing dinner in a
dimmed, candle-lit room.
Eating rice and vegetables,
fearful of going hungry.
Saving up money, thinking
of unreasonable expenses to come.
Being set apart from others
with her dark skin
and dark hair.
Living on to tell her story.
Yuki’s sad regret,
“My parents and most of their
generation are gone. It is for us to
remember and never allow such
injustices to occur again.”

Both fenced in by beckoning barbed wire,
Hated by outsiders, not much different;
Taken away without a trial, by people of their own country.
Considered political enemies of the State,
Treated like not much more than animals.
Two small voices, many worlds apart,
One voice silent, but the other’s story speaks for both.

– Kira Lee Suyeishi 10th Grade, Centennial, Colo. (reprinted with permission from Skipping Stones magazine)