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Chernobyl Volunteers
(04 October 1943 / Germany)

Chernobyl Volunteers

Poem By Herbert Nehrlich

The Kommisariat decreed
that someone volunteer
to call for volunteers.
Chernobyl was a mess
and messes did not happen
inside the Soviet Union.

So, in due course they came,
with shovels, picks and spades.
Olive green shirts and boots
of imitation leather, black.

They worked their shifts,
all for the Fatherland,
or, as they called it, Mother Russia.

The Kommisar congratulated,
on Saturday, the gang of twenty-five.
He also demonstrated the new mask,
the one the Kremlin had procured
for those who led the people.

A document had been prepared,
a couple dozen times plus one.
It stated 'Hero Of The Soviet Union',
so many shaky fingers folded up
the papers as they had to now recline
and rest their weary, radioactive bones
until the strength would once again return.

The papers were enclosed inside
the hemlock coffins, the next day.
They had the names imprinted,
thus could not be used again
for those who waited at the gates.
The happy volunteers, for Mother Russia.

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Comments (1)

It's amazing what some people are willing to sacrifice for others. Such a great poem Herbert! Sincerely, Mary


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