(04 October 1943 / Germany)

A Case Of Having A Need To Know

He questioned them (a need to know) ,
about the prospect of below
and whether it would cost too much
to choose the common way, as such.

He did not have much time he said
and in the morning he was dead.
A smile was seen to grace his face
it showed his joy, this was a case
of knowing what the trip would bring
well in advance of his last fling.

The manager had told him that
it varied with the type of fat
and body mass, as well as age
his book told all, on the last page
it stated clearly that the urn
would have to hold it all; a burn
could never get the stalky parts,
the flames consumed such things as hearts
and livers, anyway, all meat
they'd perish wholly in the heat.

This would, it seemed, take a good hour
depending on the fire's power,
to that you'd add the giant grinder
which needed an attending minder,
it crunched and pulverised all bones
and (through its noise) drowned any moans.
So all in all, the fellow learned
what it would cost him to get burned
as well as what it all entailed
and whether they had ever failed
due to a lack of gas supplies
and had there been a bad surprise
in all the years of operation,
or was it simply speculation
to presuppose that now and then,
a child, or womanfolk and men
were hardly ready for the journey
as they were wheeled in on the gurney?

'Please rest assured', came the reply
'this place sees everybody die.'

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Comments (1)

I never thought a poem about a 'serious' topic would make me laugh.... but this one did! Thank you.