The Last Kiss - Poem by Jem Solley
The train pumps smoke,
The ashes of earths misery,
A frail woman,26,
Mouse hair as much as her personality,
Tightly clutches and kisses a bundle of rags,
The snow, it drums down,
As the locomotive shudders to a halt.
The grimy wheels, pressed firm,
The steam bellowing, raging like fire,
Hissing, screaming like poisoned squirming foxes,
And the cries of its so forgotten prisoners,
Those feared demons,
Grim reapers of Nazi territory,
What are we but ruins of religion?
Skeletons of a race?
The woman holding the bundle,
Stumbles from the mass grave of a carriage,
Her breath can be seen,
When she breathes, like smoke from the commanders pipe,
Whisping and spiralling through the blood air,
An SS officer- blonde, hair swept over to the side,
His boots pounding the ground- like hammers against nails,
So petrifying, intimidating. Vein splitting,
With a march, his strong arms, stronger than iron girders,
The bundle is swept- stolen, from her,
Within these rags a newborn squeals,
Its fists pinning for its mother,
The SS officer presses his trigger at the newborn,
Tossing it- just shredded red ribbons of a baby- to the grave,
The womans whistling scream just a siren,
On her knees, she refuses to move,
Howling. Shrieking, the cries of sorrow and desperation,
The terror, the devastation, the tormentation,
Sweeping and blending with all the other mournful screeches,
Of the wailing night’s civilians, now just rats of cages,
Most will fall, but all will rise above.
The SS officer heads home at 10.30,
To kiss his newborn son.
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