Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Miros - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

It was the garlic breath
that got me from the start.
I'd smelled it fom a mile away,
'my name is Kotic, Miros',
he said and flies dropped,
one by one, onto the marble.

He had been highly recommended
by all the boys from near the Boulevard,
he'd worked for Mickey and for Johnnie,
Frank was the one who laughed so loud,
I couldn't help but hum the song
'I did it my way', so Miros stayed.

He was my guard, and during times
when bills piled up and cash was scarce
he kept the wolves away from the front door.
He'd breathe Helloooooh, how arrr yoooooh,
and we had gained some breathing space,
again, and then again. Oh, Miros, those were....
those were the days, my friends, when down
from near the markets that queen of smoke
sent word 'you must come up and see me,
you simply must, sometime', of course I did.
And Miros did his thing, with dignity and loyalty,
he drove the Cadillac the Yugoslavian way
which meant it was his second weapon,
he never used the air-condition, rolled down
all windows and enjoyed the smog and freedom.

He'd been locked up and hated Marshall Tito
and had arrived in Boston wearing nun's attire,
when Immigration mentioned California
he knew his destination and his destiny.

He died of melanoma, poor devil, on the arm,
and left a wife and little boy, down in the valley.
Today the time has come for celebration,
it is the start of Miros junior at the place.

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Comments about Miros by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (11/20/2005 4:18:00 PM)


    A great tale Herbert..........I think we all know somebody with the breath problem...it's funny how that sticks in your memory. Wonderful poem....don't know how I missed it. Sincerely, Mary (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, November 20, 2005



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