Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Professor Wolf R. - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

He did not listen.
And, come to think of it
he never had, or could.
There was a blockage
inside his stubborn skull,
strictly inherited, no doubt,
just look at his old man,
there isn't anyone who would
give him the time of day,
though no one's chased him
which they shoulda done, away.

The jump had to be executed,
if one expected to survive
in a slight twist from near the top.
The balustrade was sturdy,
the distance fifteen metres
and landing surface one-ten square.

The trick was to immerse, at tempo
nearly top speed of motorcars,
between the pylon and the concrete base,
one could quite easily avoid the cross-arch.
The undertow was known and much liked,
it hightened the great thrill of the experience.

Wolf did a corkscrew, which looked crafty,
but as he fell there was a cry, though hushed,
he'd pushed off hard, too far toward the side
and would not make it, even with a miracle.
He crashed into the raggedness of concrete,
so unforgiving yet so neutral, unconcerned.
There was a crack of human bone that moment,
and he went under, sucked below by undertow.

We dove like buzzards to retrieve the bloody mess,
his brain exposed, half hanging on his ear,
there was no blood to see, only some drops,
we carried him up to the Doc's, three flights.
Who sat in a dilapidated chair, smoking a pipe
that reached from his moustache down to the floor.
A glass of Asbach Uralt, the country's best brandy,
got to unsteady feet to help where help was needed.

We did get sick a bit when he, with patient hands
stuffed Wolfie's brains back into broken skull,
while the Frau Doktor boiled the needles on the stove,
and sterilised the bandage with the suntan lamp.
They fed him egg yolks mixed with cream, and broth,
made from the best the town could spare in forty-nine,
it was a battle that his mother had to win, her only son.
Two decades on old Wolfie honoured her, of sorts,
when he took up his post at Charité, the trauma unit,
he followed Sauerbruch and Koch and Rudolph Virchow,
They say that shaking up his brain had been essential
and that the special food had made him what he was.


Comments about Professor Wolf R. by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (7/23/2005 11:14:00 PM)

    Max I cannot recall that, we were 6 and 7 years old. Will ask my mother. To think that a good portion of the brain hung out, with part of the membranes cut and hanging in shreds, the procedures employed were not very clean (where asepsis would have beeen mandatory) and Dr. P was not altogether sober, let alone qualified or equpped to deal with this, that Wolfgang was nursed back to health against the odds so to speak, and no brain swelling, infection or loss of cognitive function occurred is indeed a miracle. Most of the brain substance is cholesterol, logically, that's what they fed him for a recovery. Think about today's idiotic craze about cholesterol being a villain and if you want to read my poem about the originator of the cholesterol hypothesis, it is called Ancel Keys - A tribute .....
    Best wishes
    Herbert
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (7/23/2005 11:00:00 PM)

    Good storytelling, Herbert. Good suspense and description.
    Pretty damn amazing recovery!
    Wonder how long it took?
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 2 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Saturday, July 23, 2005



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]