Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Thoughts Of A Boy - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

It throws a great shadow
I said to no one in particular,
it was the eden of the night
and I never really had outgrown,
or leave behind as Mother said I would,
that fear of pitch black places and,
neither gods nor ghosts would ever,
in my lifetime at least, talk me,
coerce me or shock me out of it.

A flapping of substantial wings
invisible to me and those who lay
deep in the ground, partly devoured
by stoic and ill-mannered worms.

So, here I stand, behind the biggest one,
of hundreds, planted at a time
when it was thought that they would lend,
impart much needed majesty and style
to God's still acres, resting place for souls.

I had, like aunts and uncles who have gone
before me, a special liking for the stuff,
distilled downriver at Big Wilhelm's mill,
I reminisce, right at the source, concealed
from ghosts and gods alike, yet still afraid.

Souls never leave the ground, they do not rise
up to the afterlife, it's all a crock!
They flutter, batlike over marble rocks
and have no hearing and no genuine seeing eyes.

Yet they could take me, a small boy and make me pay
for all the sins I would commit in later life,
that's why I hide inside the juniper and pray,
armed with a capgun and a double bladed knife.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 31, 2008

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