The Light In Anne Frank’s Attic

Steve Villano
2 min readApr 24, 2024


(Original photograph by Steve Villano, April, 2024, taken at the Anne Frank Huis, Amsterdam)

It was a small window,

At the very top of the house;

And through it she could see the sky,

And see that life went on; just, to know.

No, it was not Shel Silverstein’s light,

Which burned from inside,

Telling the world someone was there,

Thinking, writing, upstairs at night.

She could not risk a light in her attic,

Exposing her Secret Annexe,

Risking the lives of eight humans

Hiding from demons, who demonized them.

And so, sunlight streamed in by day,

Starlight by night,

Atop the narrow Dutch house,

Where she tiptoed, like a mouse.

Not to be heard, not a word;

But, seeing the light coming into the attic,

Gave her hope, and dreams,

Helping young Anne swallow her screams.

She always wanted to write,

And she did, by day, by night;

Locked away as a young teen,

Recording thoughts, & what she’d heard and seen.

She wrote about things 13, and of feeling

“Wicked sleeping in a warm bed,

“While my dearest friends have been knocked down,”

In the gutter reeling, pummeled upon the head.

They leaned toward the cracked and crackling radio,

Listening to the news;

To learn that the crime for which they were all wanted

Was “all because they are Jews.”

For two years they hid, away from cold, evil eyes,

Fed and protected by a woman, Miep Gies.

On the day the Franks were arrested, 8/4/44,

Miep sheltered Anne’s writings, til the end of the War.

The sisters sent to Bergen-Belsen,

Papa and Mama dragged further east,

Toward the darkness and the fire breath

Of the annihilative Auschwitz beast.

If only, if only she could live to 16,

Anne might have a chance to be rescued, or seen.

Starvation, disease, no light, and no breath,

Silenced her voice, and hastened her death.

Only Otto survived from the Amsterdam “annexe”,

Returning back to the last home he knew;

Daylight still shining into the attic,

Illuminating where Anne’s words and dreams grew.