Jacob’s Poem

Poem written by Jacob Hennenberg, 2000
Recording by the Face to Face Program, 2006
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My Eyes Have Seen
by Jacob Hennenberg
On September First
Nineteen Thirty Nine
Our lives had changed
Including mine.
We thought the storm would pass
And go away
It became obvious that it would stay.
With pain and hurt
I had to leave my home
And leave my family
There all alone.
I wound up in a place
Of blood and tears
In deep disillusionment
And with great fears.
Numbers, numbers, numbers
Went through my mind
I must stay alive
Not fall too far behind.
People had sad faces
They all looked the same
Their eyes were half closed
And no one had a name.
I dreamed of sunny places
And wind blew through my hair
I tried to talk about my dream
But no one seemed to care.
This was long ago
To my surprise
I tried to find my world
But smoke got in my eyes.
Then the sun came out
And the sky was very clear
The day of liberation was finally here.
Getting rid of our fears
Pain and despair
Realizing someone somewhere
Really did care.
Starting life anew
With great expectations
Creating a family
And new generations.
We overcame the problems
That life was bringing.
For me and my family
The birds again are singing.
I am thankful to this country
For opening the gate
And for giving me the opportunity
To fight prejudice and hate
In my lifetime
My eyes have seen
The worst and the best of human beings.