Poem Hunter
Chemistry Lab
(04 October 1943 / Germany)

Chemistry Lab

Pilshoffer was the name
of our old teacher,
'twas chemistry that made him
what he was and clung to.
Made up of strictly chemicals,
like atoms, molecules
and many, as yet unknown
exotic particles.

The place one would expect
to find his soul had been
completely taken over
by aromatic clusters
of blue aldehydes.
He needed no botox,
as all expression had been
deep-frozen so long ago.

And in his smelly, fizzy,
gurgly, bubbly, yet so punctual life
he smiled just once.
It was just moments
prior to the great event,
when this obedient student
blew up the Lab of Chemistry,
but hadn't meant to, really.

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Comments (2)

Thanks guys. Actually, what really happened is that Pilshoffer smirked at my so-called clumsy attempts to finish a lab experiment involving highly volatile substances. The explosion wasn't really any more damaging than the 80 % destruction of the laboratory, a palm size burn to my lower leg and the burned and ripped trousers of Pilshoffer's best pin-striped work pants and the disappearance of his briefcase, including lunch. From memory, I wore a small smile just prior to the BANG, but for different reasons. Herbert
Your last 3 lines leave me wondering, 'did you blow up the chemistry lab because you were obeying his instructions? Was his smile inspired by the knowledge that this would occur? ' Or am I just reading more that I should into an endiing that you perhaps want to leave ambiguous? '