(04 October 1943 / Germany)

A Man's Prayer

There was a letter in my Tuesday mail last week,
airmail and light, the stamp gave it away,
Herr Pastor wrote to say HELLO to all the meak,
and wish our special group a Happy Holy Day.

You see, it's been some fifty years, oh yes it has,
our confirmation in that church with all my mates,
it was the time when trumpets prostituted jazz,
and Germany was two-tongued, and in dire straits.

He sent a photo of a strapping man with hair,
a grin just barely visible and still correct,
there was such holiness and prayer in the air
though I don't mean to show the slightest disrespect.

Certificate, as well, a proverb from the past,
it jogged the memories and melancholy smiles,
top drawer of the cabinet, now filed away at last,
the road has been a long one, many awkward miles.

I woke and knew the day was Sunday, sleep's okay,
half-conscious found the strength to pray, again.
Dear God, may I touch base with you, and pray?
I'm one of those, the upper left, among the other men.

I would, if possible present a small request,
could you erase the time from midnight, well, last night?
I feel so warm and safe inside my featherbedded nest
and would prefer to wake again, and see the morning's light.

If it is not within your thoughts or willing means,
may I refer you to the institution you call tide,
I used to be the same, back thither in my teens
each morning I would wake, and pray. Still sleepy-eyed.

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