Poetry Train…

Check out Rhian’s blog to see who else is traveling on the train today. 🙂

Here’s my contribution:

The ground shakes
As the bombs explode,
Lighting up the night sky.

I think of the boy I love
While huddled in the shelter
Waiting for morning.

He fights a war
He doesn’t believe in
And he longs for it to end.

He’s not English
Nor American.
He is German.

Forced to fight
Or go to a camp
From which he’d never return.

I embrace myself,
Remembering his arms around me
And wishing I’d told him I loved him.

But we don’t speak of love
Not now.
Not in this Germany.

Morning light shines through the window.
I have survived another night.
I pray my love lives as well.

copyright 2007. T.A. Chase

9 Responses “Poetry Train…”

  1. Ann says:

    Powerful poem, TA.

  2. Susan Helene Gottfried says:

    TA, this is haunting as hell. So’s the picture, which struck me immediately.

    I think you’re right. We are often so busy painting the Germans as evil that we lose sight of the individual in there. I’ve got army conscription in my background — for Russia — and I understand. Despite that, I’d never stopped to think about the Germans who’d been inscripted in similar ways.

    Chilling stuff. Important stuff.

  3. julia says:

    “But we don’t speak of love
    Not now.
    Not in this Germany.”

    Really powerful, T.A.

  4. T.A.Chase says:

    Thanks, everyone. I was watching The War by Ken Burns on PBS last night and got inspired.

    Though like Rhian, I feel we’ve missed an important part of the story by not allowing those who fought for Germany to tell their stories. Because those men and women fought for the same reasons as ours did. National pride. Loyalty to country. Wanting something better than what they had.

    We’ve focused so much on the evil done by the German army (and well we should) but we tend to forget the individual soldier who had his own reason for fighting the war. Fear. Pride. Loyalty.

    Not all of them were evil. Not all of them believed Nazi propaganda, but most of them didn’t have a choice either.

  5. Jill says:

    Wow!! I didn’t know that you did some historical poetry!! Sad, but then, I can imagine you waiting for your man and knowing that it is too late!!

  6. Red Garnier says:

    This is so poignant . . . I also think this has so many layers. Great job, T.A. =)

  7. gautami tripathy says:

    This is heartfelt and has many layers to it. I kind of flowed with the poem.

  8. Rhian / Crowwoman says:

    oh TA this poem was incredible. it had personal meaning for me too since I had a Great Uncle in Germany who was gassed for refusing to fight. Needless to say, the rest of the men in the family reluctantly went off to war after that example. My Opa ended up being in a Russian prison camp for 7 years and came home a broken man. But at least he came home. The many stories my german relatives tell of that time, of the threats, of the hunger, of the great and terrible sorrows is a side of the tale so many never hear.

  9. Lisa Andel says:

    Gee, that’s a happy one.
    I like it, but I didn’t need that this morning.

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