Hamann's Disciple

The house was strangely silent,
flies crawling, copulating
on Federation walls,
the ticking of a Timex, gold
the kitchen model, broke,
though timidly, the death
whose odour had by now,
and since Thanksgiving Day,
expanded from the ancient bed
onto the hallway, to descend
down carpet stairs that creaked,
when living souls had been
the occupants; they were no more.
As luck would have it, heavy tools
were stored down in the cellar,
near the laundry sink, whose tap
performed its lonely ritual,
a dropp a second, so it seemed,
the ground was dirt and had been dug,
presenting now as darkened garden soil,
still moist and full of secret thoughts.
He'd done it once before, where flies
a trifle bigger, copulated just the same
on walls that had seen better days,
and smelled much better air.

He was Canadian, carpenter by trade,
and kept a library of sorts, at home,
all books of Hamann, Fritz, the Kraut,
who chopped them up using a hatchet,
ground the meat and added spices, well,
it was a job and someone had been picked,
by God or devil, as a smallgoods chef,
he never went without, no cutlery was used,
he needed the plaisir of licking all the taste
off stiff arthritic fingers and thin lips.

They locked his sorry self away in Calgary,
and gave him paper and a well-oiled Remington,
it took just weeks before the memoirs were done,
and boxes of those notes arrived in droves,
they'd be alright across the line, no one could know,
that Dad was the great disciple of Fritz, who ate them all.

by Herbert Nehrlich

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