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An Old German Happened By...


During the Second World War he flew for the Luftwaffe.  He still

couldn’t shake the memory of an old black-clad woman running into

the sea to avoid his strafing of a beach in Crete.  After the war,

with Germany in ashes, he threw his medals into a river and

remained stone silent for two years.  He often thought about a

woman he met during the campaign in the Ukraine.  She kept three

pianos in her bomb blasted home; one French, one Austrian and one

Russian.  She played Mozart in the ruins, the war all around her.

Perhaps, I offered, you were in love.  “I never touched her!” his

head snapped violently.  Though he allowed, after awhile, that

he’d dreamt about it once or twice.



[Originally published in NHS 1996, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs96/index.html#13.]