Accident of Fate

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

No such thing as
too many concentration camp movies.
No such thing as
too many concentration camp books.
I have seen and read many, but hardly enough
for somewhere inside of me,
I know I should have been there,
there in any camp you choose
with a number on my arm,
and my bones sticking out of my body.
I do not know how to call it,
accident of fate or God’s hand,
but I have been found guilty of the soft life
here in this land of bountiful
where I can decide which restaurant to patron,
or what popular play to attend.
I feel I should be someplace else,
rousted out of the barracks at two a.m.,
hoping to be spared another beating
or a final trip to the chambers.

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years.  Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in a new YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy,  edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit:


Filed under American Jewry, European Jewry, poetry

2 responses to “Accident of Fate

  1. You were meant to be here… right now. It isn’t an accident.

  2. Guilt is a mighty force in our minds. It has no place for those who were not given a choice. I don’t believe that fate brings us accidentally anywhere. We are where we are meant to be. Let us not let our sorrow or our guilt of another generations sins be a weight we have to bare for even a moment. Let us know it, share it, learn from it and live our lives because of it. But rather than be even the teensiest bit mournful about our placement in history, let us be joyful that we are here to live this life and remember OUT LOUD those past lives lived and lost. My two cents.

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