Meeting At The Bridge - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
I met out by the bridge across the Rhine
a man who introduced himself as Rilke.
He carried with him a substantial flagon of red wine
and offered, with a melancholy smile as well
as earnest eyes and shaking hands, from cold.
We sat and drank, in darkness to the sounds
of carefree frogs and the occasional Uhu,
he talked at length about night birds and what it means
if one can hear its call in darkness, it is death.
Uhu, Uhu, it beckons, frightens children madly,
and no one doubts its awesome powers, its intent.
I drifted off and woke at dawn to cannon thunder
and then I knew it must be Wellington with troops.
My friend had left, but why, he stole himself away
just like a thief will quickly fade inside the shadows
for many months I cried about the time we spent
just drinking wine and letting God be in command.
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