Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

White Spots On The Brain - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

They told me to go out and sit
in the park across the street.
'Bloomin' Alzheimer', they cried,
voices subdued, of course.
So I took my teddy and went,
after all I must be grateful, very,
as they have taken me in, at last.
No one would, at the time, no one.
Doc said that I was really losing it,
losing what? I think he meant the years,
as we get older we do, of course.
Must be a new doc though, never seen him,
and my daughter keeps remarrying,
though I cannot seem to remember
weddings and I do love parties.
Looked for my Lederhosen this evening,
right after brekkie, also Lucille is not home,
she must have gone visiting again.
Things are not what they once were,
not at all, no one seems to have time
not five minutes can they spare for me,
or for each other. Teachers don't either.
They dropp you the moment you leave school,
you would think that they take their walks
down the same street, say Hello when they,
after all, I was a top pupil not so long ago,
see me and how well I am doing, with,
you know, the house and how I have taken in
my daughter and her ever-changing husbands,
yes it has paid off this learning and I feel like,
really have the damn urge to thank them,
there is Herr Nolle, especially, and Frau Meise,
sie war doch schon immer a very good woman,
Nolle of course kept correcting my English,
und das war schon gut, but sometimes I get
the languages mixed up, jawohl, Herr Bauer.
So here we are, my favourite bench, pine needles,
the song of Nachtigallen, a squirrel on that branch,
und was ist? So I ask you, are you lonely as well,
as I am at times, thinking your life has gone by,
way too fast. And in reality, time has stood still,
there are plenty years left, this life has just begun!
Wait, Mama, there are sounds coming from there,
inside the blackberries, I can hear clearly now,
there is Linda, Michael, Jerry, even Raynette,
all led by Allen and that incorrigible Uriah,
who is arguing with Lawrence over the name Larry,
and, wearing those beautiful flowers there is Tiffany,
folowed by a very rare one, with forget-me-nots,
woven into her braids, Chrissie, Jodilee must have done,
boy, this makes me happy, I do hope they all speak,
English I mean, sonst ist was los, I admit, in this
confusion nowadays, the fast pace, I sometimes forget.
Doc (a new one again) wanted to put me on statins,
crazy fool must have fake degrees, I love my cholesterol,
my fatback with parsley and Southern Greens, no,
no sireee, it's just one of those things, a bit of genesis,
from being genetically modified before birth, in the womb,
that's what causes all those newfangled situations.
So, I must go now, really, also my teddy (Slobodan) ,
I best hide him under the Haynes T-shirt, they sometimes,
say always, do not understand my generation, so there.
It has been rather nice to have that chat with you and,
if it's okay with you, and God willing, I will, no shall see you
tomorrow, shucks, we will need to study for the exam,
Chernchen wird boese, that's for sure, so off we are.


Comments about White Spots On The Brain by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (7/23/2005 3:51:00 PM)


    Herbert,
    You've managed to share all the tangled emotion and harsh realities in this work. I applaud you and thank you for this poem. Especially love your dialogue switching to Duetch, so real, so horribly real.

    Warmly,
    Carolynn
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  • (7/23/2005 9:07:00 AM)


    It is a heartbreaker (both your poem and the affliction.) You nailed it so well...the poor soul who thinks he has been abandoned. Names and people come and go in his tired brain and no place feels safe. The older I get, the more I panic if I forget my car keys (until I remember that when I was twenty, I constantly locked the keys in the car, so I guess it isn't dementia. I was amused at the name dropping you did here. Your mind does take twists and turns, hmm? Good poem.

    Raynette
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  • (7/23/2005 8:46:00 AM)


    Yes, Herbert. I like this. I agree with Mahnaz. I too have had the experience of watching my grandmother's 'spirit' ravished away. At first...it appears as though a slight forgetfulness is settling in as with age, this happens. However, it becomes apparent there's something else developing and you want to help the victim to make 'it' go away! But it doesn't and it soon becomes painful to witness. Thanks Herbert for your poem. LSP (Report) Reply

  • (7/23/2005 8:25:00 AM)


    Alzheimers is a sad way to go...I've seen it in some of my realitives. You have depicted very well here Herbert! (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, July 23, 2005



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