Tuesday, August 26, 2014

An act of kindness

Let's say you are the widow's middle child
still in Heide braids when you first hear 
goose steps in your town.
Let’s say fresh out of school the Luftwaffe 
offers you a good job, they mention travel. 
Let's say you ride in the back of the Mercedes-Benz
Transformable Torpedo, behind your boss
and his driver when the gates open
and transparent beings pour through the camp 
like rushing water, drenched as if they had risen
from the ocean floor.
Let's say sleep comes and goes that night and 
the next morning you place your breakfast
on the window sill and turn your back 
and when you look again the plate is gone 
and you feel relief that a ghost has eaten 
and you are not arrested, your 
giving hand not cut off. 
Let’s say the next day you repeat this act
of kindness and later when all is over, 
in the dark of night you grieve because
you did not do more. 
And let’s say what was not done 
becomes the story in your life
and your life is a protracted mourning 
for it, for what was not done.