Charles Chaim Wax

Bad Orb-Stalag 9B On Christmas Day

Vincent Acevado arrived
at Spinoza HS in September
by the middle of October
Principal Frank Drane
had dumped three Unsatisfactory Observations
in his lap.
Since I was the union guy
he came to me.
“The man is evil, ” I said somberly.
Two days later Principal Drane
ordered Vincent to produce
lesson plans straight through
until June
or he’d suffer the consequences
of Insubordination.
By November Vincent had lost
twenty pounds.
He said, “Never should have
left my elevator operator job
but my wife’s a teacher
said we’d have vacations together
plus I’d be earning more money.”
A week later his wife Isabella showed up
at Spinoza
sought me out
I told her, “The man is evil.”
She said, “Vincent spends hours and hours
working on his lesson plans
he barely sleeps—
I blame myself
for his torture.”
“The man is evil, ” I said.
“EVIL…here? ”
Then Isabella closed her eyes
her face transformed
as if suddenly in another place.
When she opened them
she said in a flat monotone,
“On Christmas day Vincent’s grandfather
Armondo and the other American POWs
were rushed out of the barracks
and lined up along
trenched dugouts
behind them the Germans
stood with machine guns
pointing at their backs
they had to stand
all day
in the snow
it was cold
and the men were bare footed
the Germans refused
to let them put on their boots
and as the day wore on
many were so weak
they collapsed
and fell into the trench
filled with excrement…”
The bell tolled for change of classes
the hall filling
with sounds of children.
Isabella continued, “The Germans
wanted to know who chopped off
the head of the cook
with a meat cleaver
food was so scarce the men were
starving. At the end of the day
the Chaplain convinced
the man to step forward
he was immediately taken away
then the torture began.”
Isabella paused
tears now
flowing from her brown eyes

Submitted: Wednesday, December 21, 2005

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Comments about this poem (Bad Orb-Stalag 9B On Christmas Day by Charles Chaim Wax )

  • Rookie ... ... (12/21/2005 8:04:00 AM)

    With the kind of qualities I spoke about yesterday I think there is so much unexplored mileage in a lot of these poems of yours that with a bit of effort you could turn into really effective short stories, not that the poems themselves aren't effective, because they are. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie IT'S ME K.S.Z. (12/21/2005 7:07:00 AM)

    Wow! I really dont know what to say about this! It is a very infectious poem and I enjoyed every word! Thanks Charles!

    Kevin (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

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