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Are You Leaving?
(04 October 1943 / Germany)

Are You Leaving?

Poem By Herbert Nehrlich

And I'll ask you today,
would you like me to guess
what your future will hold,
like a good game of chess,
you must choose very soon
how you'll pay for your bread
when you lay down MY spoon
you will need to be fed.

At the ripe age of thirty
you must stand on your feet,
you can get your hands dirty,
it is time that you meet
real life and its pleasures
and also its pains,
as society measures,
in the end, what it gains
from each worker and peasant
from each tradesman and teacher,
but your life can be pleasant,
I will show you some features
all you need do is choose,
do not listen to voices,
that will tell you to use
some unethical choices.
What is given in debt
by the agents of state
you must put in your hours
and be one with your mate.
Be it sunshine or showers
or a mystery fate.

Well, then listen to me:
Would you like to be baker,
or a butcher or tailor,
or a candlestick maker,
or a soldier and sailor?
Maybe dentist or doctor,
university proctor,
or a fiddler, musician,
undertaker, beautician?

There are so many options
and you must be prepared
to accept some disruption,
'cause our leaders declared
that the servants are US,
and that they take the money,
after sixty-five plus
you'll have milk and sweet honey,
really, never you mind
that this world is so strange,
just get off your behind
and get going, arrange
for your future today
what will feed you tomorrow,
it is all quite okay
and there should be no sorrow.
'Cause whatever you choose
I will sit in my chair,
like a tired old moose,
with my silver gray hair.
Let me say, he who climbs
up the steps of success
has a father who rhymes
your adventures, no less.

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Comments (4)

Reminds me of my dad when I was in college....He always told me if I could do it with two kids you can do it....and so I did :)
Very nice, Herbert...reminds me of the wisdom of my father...his words were not nearly as poetic as yours, though...I hope you don't mind I am sending this to my brother to read to his son...I love this...I am sure he will too...very well done... Lare
Herbert what a great truthfull poem to write in the heat of battle, i enjoyed the basic human truth, sorry the effect of the poem, has been spoilt by an overzealous fan of yours, is he in love with you, seems he is also looking for god Warm regards allan
Hi Herbert, Very touching poem.


Comments