Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Saturday Mornings - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

She liked her Saturdays, of course,
as it was family day and she would
dust off her high class shoes,
the ones that should have gone
inside the coffin of her mother.
She'd stand quite still then,
awaiting the descent of
her precious ebony chiffon.

She walked, flaunting
an imposing figure, to all
who were not busy
at the moment and could,
thus ascertain the absolute
and so essential correctness
of her attire. It was in order.

Hell would have broken loose
if one ignored tradition.
Small towns do not forgive.

The word was 'proper',
needless to say, it's what I heard
a minute, perhaps two
after my birth, down in the cellar,
on old potatoes from the autumn harvest.

Yet, even bombs of World War Two
could not have influenced
the codes we'd stitched into our lives.

The ritual consisted of
the bark of Strolch,
the German Shepherd.
He had a special tune
for her, more like Hello.

The bark then was the signal
for some thirty geese,
so vigilant on golden pond.
It was as if a last rehearsal
before the concert let us know
that cups had better be
on the old table for the brew
of last night's roast from Kasakhstan.

And, like a future vision
an Ed McMahon
from Johnny's show,
my mother would,
before the door had opened
whisper 'Here is Hulda...! '

'Morgen, Tante Hulda',
we chorused, all five,
well mannered children
who sat, quietly.
And grinned like little fools
who suddenly had been
placed in the presence
of her Majesty,
of never-doubted greatness.

My sister, who'd been hogging
from day one it seems to me
my uncle's lap,
(who also hung around on Saturdays) ,
would glare at me. And all because
I was Aunt Hulda's 'special boy',
so 'strong and smart,
and so inquisitive.'
She never tired of confirming this,
while rubbing calloused hands
across my parted hair.
(And nor did I) .

I dreamed the other day,
could smell the coffee
and feel her loving paw.
It was a sad awakening.

Comments about Saturday Mornings by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (12/1/2005 5:11:00 AM)

    I have mentioned my Aunt in several poems. One poem called Aunt Hulda is just about her.
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  • (11/29/2005 5:38:00 AM)

    I like this very much - it has an easy, natural flow. I was thinking of asking you whether you'd mentioned your aunt in a poem since she sounds such a strong and interesting character! (Report) Reply

  • (11/28/2005 5:16:00 PM)

    Good narrative poem, Herbert. T'would appear aunt Hulda, made a lasting impression on you? (Report) Reply

  • Ernestine Northover (11/28/2005 4:33:00 PM)

    This reminds me of a poem I wrote called 'The Visiting Aunts' I haven't put it on PH but I may decide to, it was one of my earlier ones, when you're a bit unsure of peoples views on them. This is a nice write Herbert, love Ernestine XXX (Report) Reply

  • (11/28/2005 1:46:00 PM)

    well done herbert one of your groupies asking for date persistant little things
    are they not

    (Report) Reply

  • (11/28/2005 6:43:00 AM)

    Check your inbox.
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/28/2005 6:41:00 AM)

    I am still waiting for an apology Norbert......

    Just apologise for your behaviour towards me...
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/28/2005 5:57:00 AM)

    Yes she was. A real human being. Big chest (we later, when the jet plane was invented, called them jet boobs) , and a heart of pure gold.I had no other relative who would come close.
    Thanks for your kind words, Mary.
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/28/2005 5:50:00 AM)

    This is wonderful Herbert.........I love dreaming of those that are already gone, it's like a nice little visit. You've mentioned this aunt many times.......she must've been very special to you. This is a great poem. :) sincerely, Mary (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, November 28, 2005

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