Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Headlight Washers - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

She stepped into the sun
and blinked, because of tears
that had, politely, waited,
as not to draw attention
or embarrass her inside
where all live eyes had stared,
awaiting her reaction, so predictable.

They thought her strange,
and normal conversation
resumed behind her back
until the triple-glazed, translucent door
had shut with an unpleasant whoosh.

She would not, EVER, in a million years
accept this verdict, dreamed up in the lab.
She had been born into the world bearing defiance
and she would, without a question then, survive.

The doc had said they needed to confirm
the accuracy and rule out a mistake,
his eyes however did not lie at all,
and she had left, not even paid the bill,
as there would be, another day, without a doubt.

To reach the car, it had been just a week
that she had bought that beauty, 'it will see me out'
her motto, something she had heard somewhere,
and now it looked with gleaming headlight eyes
from just across the road, so near, this sanctuary.

And with the spring of new denial in her stride
she stepped onto the street, in to the sun
where city bus one-sixty-eight then claimed
all right of way, in pre-programmed inertia.

And when the nurse came running from inside,
bearing the paper with the news of utter splendour,
that laboratory error was confirmed against the odds,
she saw the headlight eyes in tears across the road.
Though some cars do possess those fancy washers.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, July 17, 2005



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