Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Strike - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

The hall was crowded,
a hum transcended
blue collar whiff
and music drifting in
from the last vessel
to arrive. Deserted docks
in silence, rough hands
had left at last.

To hell with wages,
we listen to our union,
assembling here,
still peacefully anticipating
elusive answers
from those who lead
by education and example.

And after many days
of cargo sitting, stranded,
and idle men misled,
a sudden silence could be heard.

A voice of hoarse falsetto,
articulate, in plaintiff tone,
and re-creating identically
itself through echo walls of concrete,
shouted into the mayhem of inaction
'will the real Jesus Christ please stand.'

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Poem Submitted: Monday, July 18, 2005

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