Skip to content
December 4, 2010 / Gio

I Just Want To Live

*One Stop Poetry Fall 2010 Competition: Through A Child’s Eyes *


winter sings sadly, as I shiver with socks on my hands
out the window I can see freedom
frozen hills kissing a burnt sun;
a place where flowers never grow and
railroads and barricades have become a fortress.
yesterday, my friends were taken away;
my parents too, selected a week before
and with them my emotions, disappeared gray to blue
like the horrific smoke in the distance
as nightmares and screams become my hourglass
my ears plugged by terror and uncertainty.

I don’t want to be a bystander
but I am too little to do anything, too weak
and too young to be staring death in the face.
joyful, I want to play with my friends and sing marching songs
I want to taste something sweet
wishing to see my family again
hoping to grow out of these dirty, ragged clothes
waiting for that day, when the Germans leave…
I just want to live.

© Giovanni Cucullo 2010


Congratulations to Renée Sigel and her winning poem
“The Wild Peach of Angels”


Visit One Stop Poetry!



The world’s oldest living Holocaust survivor.

She just celebrated her 107th birthday!!



Leave a Comment
  1. pete marshall / Dec 24 2010 6:41 am

    i am glad you shared this again …and looking at the comments it has had some great views..have a great christmas…pete

  2. Chris G. / Dec 23 2010 10:41 am

    As potent the second time around as in reading it the first…powerful work, Giovanni, one that tugs at the heartstrings and prods at the moral fiber of the world…remembering suffering, and there is no better image for it than the madness of that event. Moving, chilling, harrowing – to be a child with this in their memory…

  3. Steve Isaak / Dec 23 2010 3:47 am

    Bleak and effective.

  4. Corbie Sinclair / Dec 22 2010 7:57 pm

    Sad but beautifully written. Thank you for putting it on One Shot.

  5. Strummed Words / Dec 12 2010 7:54 am

    Wanting to have a normal, every day life. Why is it sometimes so hard?

  6. hedgewitch / Dec 10 2010 5:09 pm

    Can’t believe I missed this. Not in your usual vein, but extremely well-written and powerful. For some reason, the socks on the hands really get to me…such a symbol of your cold, helpless child. Fine work.

  7. Shashi / Dec 8 2010 11:57 pm

    A great one thought.. Vivid and imagery is great..

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Tweet me @VerseEveryDay

  8. Star Ka'at / Dec 7 2010 8:42 pm

    Very sad and poignant.

  9. Talon / Dec 7 2010 6:43 pm

    Heartbreaking, but beautifully written…

    “frozen hills kissing a burnt sun” – marvellous imagery

    My potluck: so maybe

  10. Claudia / Dec 7 2010 1:15 pm

    a sad period of history (and for me as a german double sad..) seen through a child’s eyes
    amazing work gio!

  11. A.B. Thomas / Dec 7 2010 9:02 am

    Such a sorrowful piece, fantastic write!

  12. Susannah / Dec 7 2010 5:47 am

    So beautifully written, I loved the line….frozen hills kissing a burnt sun;

  13. hoiden / Dec 6 2010 9:19 pm

    wow…beautiful…such a moving piece

  14. Gay Cannon / Dec 6 2010 9:11 pm

    I felt this more acutely than “A Beautiful Life”. I know holocaust survivors; I had a special friend, a rabbi, who talked to me about the peace that surpasses understanding when I was a young girl, not many years after that horrible time. He never mentioned it. It wasn’t until four years ago, I found out he survived Aushwitz. That any one doubts those times is shocking. Truly the young must never forget! Well written, thank you!

  15. signed .............bkm / Dec 6 2010 5:25 pm

    Thank you for posting and for your lovely comments at my site…blessings…bkm

  16. Mary Bach / Dec 6 2010 4:31 pm

    Heartbreakingly wonderful.

  17. Diane T / Dec 6 2010 4:28 pm

    Wonderful poetry. Lots of images in it.
    Great job!

  18. Lyn / Dec 6 2010 1:39 pm

    So deeply touched and always amazed by humanity gone mad…beautifully done!

  19. fiveloaf / Dec 6 2010 10:36 am

    thought provoking piece! here’s mine-

  20. Jamie Dedes, all rights reserved / Dec 6 2010 9:27 am

    Giovanni, this is a fine poem with an important moral message and an important acknowledgement of the suffering. I grew up with a lot of wonderful people who escaped that great terror or lived though it. It is one of those things that informs the rest of our lives. I have written about it too.

    Thanks for the intro to dear Alice. I wil pursue further.


  21. Strummed Words / Dec 6 2010 8:38 am

    Very moving and evocative.

  22. Sherry Blue Sky / Dec 6 2010 1:20 am

    This was intensely powerful and moving – a child during the Holocaust, vividly captured. Well done.

  23. booguloo / Dec 6 2010 12:51 am

    You touched my heart.

  24. liv2write2day / Dec 5 2010 10:51 pm

    Wow! Powerful entry. So thought-provoking. It’s hard to imagine the horror of the holocaust, especially from a child’s point of view. Wonderful, Gio. Thank you.
    Here’s mine if you’re not too busy cooking!

  25. david waters / Dec 5 2010 10:25 pm

    such power…you painted it so vividly I was there with the child….chilling.

  26. hope hayduk / Dec 5 2010 10:12 pm

    so sad and heartfelt!
    beautiful words written here
    thank you

  27. Jingle / Dec 5 2010 10:12 pm

    a child’s inner struggle is validly demonstrated here.
    Thanks for the inspiration…
    beautiful entry ….
    Happy Potluck!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: