Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Hydrogen Bomb - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

On the fiery red horizon,
closing down this wretched day,
Captain Cedric now surmising
who should be the one to stay
when the missiles started flying.
World War Three had just begun.

Soon there would be no one crying,
not one mother for her son.
And no preacher full of frust
utter words like 'dust to dust'.
All the living would be ending
for the godforsaken reason,
that a thunder of heart-rending
mass destruction follow treason.

Limp old men were sitting pretty
in their bunkers and debated
how they could improve their shitty
life on earth, which, as they stated
'd been corrupted by their foes.
And swift punishment would follow,
killing blacks and whites and those
who were hiding in the hollow.

First lieutenant peeked his head in,
'I'll take over on the bridge',
'Aye, Aye' sounded, he was getting
one last beer out of the fridge.
At that moment something louder,
unfamiliar to his ears,
from the ceiling fell like powder
chunks of gyp-rock, several beers
now exploded on the rug.

Captain Cedric now was worried
and he scratched and with a shrug
pushed a button as he hurried
to the cabinet of liquor.
'Yes, my Captain', said a voice,
through the porthole came a flicker,
mushroom clouds, 'I want the boys
come up here, NOW, on the double,
all the rations of our Bundy *
break it open, 'cause this trouble
is the final. It is Sunday
and the last day of our lives.'

All the crew had now assembled,
some with photos of their wives,
held in hands that shook and trembled
as they sat down on the floor.
And the party now got gowing,
they all guzzled, then some more,
awesome fears were surely growing
and the missiles getting close.
lucky only would be those
who succeeded on this mission
which would beat the bloody Reaper.
That meant drinking, a decision
now permitted by their keeper.

When the Flash of Hiroshima
was repeated for their ship,
they were anchored close to Lima,
at the leg of their last trip.
When the heat of fifty thou'
had engulfed them no one cared.
Not a single one would now
after they had truly shared
precious minutes with their mates,
fret or worry, no, indeed
there would be no new debates,
for this crew had no more need.

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Read poems about / on: son, war, mother, red, fear

Poem Submitted: Friday, June 3, 2005

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