Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

The Guillotine - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

Early hours, at the square,
comes the ox-drawn wagon, loudly.
The condemned, his head shaved bare,
with his priest and bible, proudly.

There is the slimmest hope the judge
will ask the man once to repent.
This morn' however brings no such
high hopes to bear, it wasn't meant.

They pull the shiny chopper up,
the basket waits below.
And when the blade is at the top
they start the bloody show.

They lay him down onto the groove.
He wanted to look up,
to thus - in close-up - see it coming,
just prior to the chop.

'Face down', they ordered,
'do not move',
'and pray now to your God,
for, soon you will be meeting him,
another headless bod.

And then the showtime can begin,
the crowd is chanting 'Do It, Yes! ',
but first a dry-run with a grin.
The rusty knife comes squeaking down
and stops just short of human skin.
He would, but could not turn around.
He's 'heading' for the bin.

This time they shout 'God Save The Queen! ''
then pull the blade release,
and -had you looked- you would have seen
the victim on his knees.

And he remains in this position
to pray for a reprieve,
but had no time, for the decision
was made: He should not leave.

So, 'fiewoot'.... it went,
the head then tumbled,
the masses satisfied.
He'd not repent
and was not humbled.
And not a single person cried.


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Read poems about / on: god, hope, time, running



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Poem Edited: Tuesday, November 23, 2004


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