–Corrie Ten Boom
I strung up a Bible
between my shoulder blades,
felt its reassuring pat pat,
our bodies just bodies packed
together in filth, cattled
toward the camp.
My father hid people
behind my bedroom wall
like termites, living encased in wood.
When it was time to be taken, I was
doorjamb, false-front, good-enough,
and strangers survived my sisters.
In the camp, we stood naked
for our medical inspection: a line
of leering soldiers. We slept
end to end, could neither sit up
nor lift our head to speak, but
we read the Word of the Lord
beneath a bare bulb, translating
scripture into every language,
in every tongue told again
that our flesh is more than flesh.
Until one day an error was made
in my favor: my number on the list
of those to be released, like a ledger,
balanced, with the living and the dead.