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.
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