The night before the big examination
by Herbert Nehrlich
I had a restless, rather fitful sleep.
I would have happily gone into hibernation,
instead I'd promised to myself that I would keep
this date with destiny, which would decide some things.
The hall was roomy, with well-arched acoustic ceiling
and eight professors sat around a U-shaped table.
As I marched in they noticed I had wings,
attached to triceps. I was thinking 'what a feeling'.
The man in front asked me if I would now be able
to answer questions that were difficult but fair.
Or whether I had come today to make a fool
of self and others, with my wings of prayer.
I was confused, the atmosphere was hostile,
perhaps a measure of plain ridicule intended.
One had to demonstrate the value of our school,
and every utterance and answer had to be defended.
First question, seemed quite easy at the time,
just when I tried to give a logic-bearing answer,
when one professor said it was perhaps no crime
but 'would you tell us, are you then a natural dancer? '
I was so shocked, my wings were fluttering and shaking.
Afraid to look, pretended I was sleeping,
the voice continued, saying I was really taking
up too much time today and that in proper keeping
with all the rules and regulations of the board,
I could not stand in front of them without attire
and wings of prayer, as no help from our Lord
was authorised, permitted or wanted.
His words by now were loud, distinct and full of fire,
he pointed downward, 'seeing that you so obscenely flaunt it,
I must insist that you go now to our auditorium
and there parade in front of all your friends and our staff,
to follow that we'll have a simple moratorium
on what to do with you, so go, don't make us laugh! '
I grabbed a heavy velvet curtain by the door,
to cover private parts and look much less suspicious,
traversed the overcrowded auditorium floor,
to face the boos and baas, the atmosphere was rather vicious.
It was disastrous and I strongly felt like sinking,
when now the crowd surrounded me up close.
And desperation often stimulates our urgent thinking,
just one, two, flap when all so suddenly I rose
above my past, my present, all that ever counted,
flew out the window into futuristic skies.
Inside my buzzing head the apprehension quickly mounted,
where was the real truth and who was telling lies?
Then, passing flocks of birds, amongst them was an owl,
the sun was bright and breezy, freedom hovered in the air.
I felt a gentle lift from warming currents of my soul.
The drapes had dropped, I saw that still my ass was bare.
And of necessity I was above all others,
so looking down came natural that way.
And I could see the countless sheep with all their mothers
awaiting judgment well before their coming judgment day.
It was a sign, I think the owl just winked
in passing, but the wise ones do just that.
I flapped my wings once more and very slowly blinked,
when out of nowhere there appeared a bat.
To drift for hours then on cushions of warm air
allowed me thoughts of iridescent retrospection.
At last, here was the truth, its body was as bare
as I, who now had found, stark naked, his direction.
Then four alarmclocks I had set the night before
all screamed at once to me 'get up, get up ',
so, quite perturbed I am, and hesitate no more,
get quickly dressed and grab a hasty cup.
And when I entered minutes later the large hall,
where the professors had been sitting idly, waiting,
I saw my image in the mirror on the wall, while stating
my name and number, place of birth and year.
Their eyes approved me, with a nod, and smiling slightly.
At last I knew the real reason I was here
and started to heat up and to perspire lightly.
And all went well then in the very final end,
I reckon if a person's dream this odd and weird
could really happen in one night, then, well my friend
it's something just like this I've always feared.