Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Rolf - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

It was so many years ago, and somewhat sad.
First grade, this little boy, so full of pride.
An intellectual curiosity that possessed this lad,
did not bestow the capability to save his hide.

They had a bully problem in the hometown school.
It led to quite embarrassing events.
He's followed home by bullies, as a rule,
it ended with a desperate race to friends,
whose houses were not locked and gave asylum.
Once INside one felt safe and cocky, but a fool.

A boy, who seemed to walk a little funny,
but with a stoic, cool and tough expression,
he was the first I bought with my own money
a bar of chocolate for, we shared it in lunch session.

We got along mostly because of admiration
and flattery that I employed with care.,
I needed allies during school term, so sensation
of inferiority and helplessness, unfair,
through all its negative demoralising stigma
would lose importance through the presence of enigma.

So, we became good friends, his name was Rolf.
He lived a seven minute walk away, due East.
For two, three years his presence simply solved
the problem, he humbly was my own, tough guardian beast.

We went our seperate ways then, after school.
And distant shores was my eventual destination.
He took the job as mayor of the town of Suhl,
where I stopped over on a lengthy world vacation.

To get a stamp I had to see the man
at City Hall, where public service wallows
in its own juices of importance, as they can
just disappear inside the niches and the hollows.

The marble structure mad a good enough impression,
the foyer had a plaque, filled with devotion.
The counsellors were in a morning session,
when, suddenly, erupted a commotion.

A man was prone, had shockingly collapsed,
a crowd had gathered, staring and debating.
And every single citizen just stood and gasped,
while precious time was wasting, life was fading.

'It's Rolf', a skinny spinster said with sadness,
'I knew he'd end like this, did tell him so.'
Then something snapped in me
amidst this crowd of madness:
Rolf Gehnert, could it be? Oh no, oh no!

And into action I then flew, pushing aside,
I yanked him by his shoulders,
saw his bluish face,
and got him, sitting halfway up
so that I might start helping here
to win this deadly race.

The kiss of life I gave to my old trusty friend,
performed resusc' and brought him back to us.
I rode to hospital with him, holding his hand.
And, after midnight left him there, went home by bus.

The year was 1990 and we kept in touch.
Had a dozen tall ones on his porch
just last September.
After those I always say 'It wasn't much'.
And he always answers 'Don't remember.'

Note: We never shared another piece of chocolate
and learned the lesson that was ours twice.


Comments about Rolf by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (12/16/2004 11:22:00 PM)


    The poem tells a good, emotional tale. It is, however, metrically inconsistent and is difficult to read. Definitely a higher-order poem, but not one for general public consumption. I recommend a rewrite to simplify the stanzas and breathe life into the meter. This one has great promise! (Report) Reply

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  • (12/14/2004 6:08:00 PM)


    A bit awkward near the top, but really came into it's own by the end. I really like this one. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: chocolate, school, september, funny, home, money, city, pride, kiss, sad, remember, friend, lost



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 14, 2004



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