Harold Khelfia Schreiberg

The Watch/Die Wacht - Poem by Harold Khelfia Schreiberg

'Die Nacht des furchtbaren Zerstörung Dresden,
13, Februar,1945
Herr Gott, erbarme dich unser...'

All are fast asleep in the half-timbered house,
But Mother is awake.
Her children do not stir in their cots, they lie still.
The night is still and silent tonight;
There will be no air raid tonight.
The Mother sits by her children's side.
She listens to the silence in the large, medieval house.
The past few days she recalls: the children shouting
During their numerous, joyful games, within or without,
Their running after the cat or dog, or a ray of the sun,
Or a bright butterfly or a bee, out in the garden
Yes, their beguiling plays which she would share with them.
The Mother watches her children intently, ardently,
Little Hans, Peter and Joachim...
That day is still today.
Not a noise to be heard in the old, old Saxon house,
Even the cat and dog walk like on wool
There are no butterflies and no bees out in the garden
And the beds of flowers do not stir either
Because there is no wind, because there is no sun
To caress and dimple
Their yellows and their reds
Their blues and their greens
No, this is the night, colourless and lifeless...
The Mother watches her children in their cots
Little Hans, Peter and Joachim
She kisses their little pink mouths with godly love
She would so much want to believe, o Lord,
In Thy loving-kindness
But Mother cannot quite believe
That she will never again
hear them laugh and play and shout
Little Hans, Peter and Joachim...

Topic(s) of this poem: memories, war

Comments about The Watch/Die Wacht by Harold Khelfia Schreiberg

  • Kelly Kurt (4/1/2015 6:37:00 PM)

    Sehr gut, Herr Harold. I was touched by your poem. Thank you for sharing.
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Poem Edited: Wednesday, April 1, 2015

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