April 1944, the Kovno ghetto, Lithuania.
An 11-year-old boy dressed up to blend into the crowd, I joined my mother’s brigade, which crossed the river on the way to work. Her instructions were clear: on reaching the other side, like Lot’s wife I was not to look back. Walk straight ahead, into the hills; a woman would be waiting for me there.
Like Moses in the bulrushes, I was cast by my mother, the poetess Lea Greenstein, onto the shores of life. She gave me life twice, but was unable to save her own even once.