The Bakers of Auschwitz

by | Sep 3, 2013 | Poetry

We hear in this oven

this scented room

the sighs of dough



a confection of worldly

advice, a jelly

of dreams, the light

of these souls

bursting     blackbirds

in a hurricane

of light


a marzipan of

human form and spirit

spreading       a marmalade


breasts      lips

soft hair      thighs

in ribbons and foiled paper


that will feed us

and those


in the sewers of Stalingrad

the streets of Tripoli     Benghazi


their Jew eyes

liquid sugar   their Jew teeth

without cheeks   their Jew tummies

so pure     so thin    so fine


hurry    my children   my church


a  feast     a wealth

a delicious legato

a slow wind of notes







Photo by Oliver Regelmann

About The Author

John Guzlowski

John Guzlowski’s writing appears in Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac, Rattle, Ontario Review, North American Review, Salon.Com, Atlanta Review, and many other print and online journals here and abroad.  His poems and personal essays about his parents’ experiences as slave laborers in Nazi Germany and refugees making a life for themselves in Chicago appear in his prose and poetry memoir, Echoes of Tattered Tongues (Aquila Polonica Press). Road of Bones, his novel about two German lovers separated by war, is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press.  Of Guzlowski’s writing, Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz said, “He has an astonishing ability for grasping reality.”