(04 October 1943 / Germany)


I see you, standing in the station's light, my mother
a frigid wind blows, cruel accomplice of the night
your loving arms hold tightly now my little brother
a few stray glances linger, leave our sorry plight.

I see your shivers, mother, it is not just cold,
you know that parting is a bitter little death.
There comes a time, you said, for all to leave the fold,
you seem so fragile now and small and out of breath.

But now you smile to me, a trick to lift the mood,
it is the misty smile of camouflage, you weep.
It's early evening and folks appear subdued,
the stationmaster's whistle lets my brother sleep.

White, silver gray your hair, tied in a formal bun
and much too thin inside your flimsy overcoat,
yet now you joke with me, we're having so much fun
it is hilarious, that man looks like a goat.

And only now your face gets dark and very gray
a thousand moths disturb the light with crazy joy.
There is so little that the two of us can say,
the final whistle blows then, 'come back soon my boy.'

And as the train pulls out and gathers farewell speed
I can see her standing, brave face and oh, so small,
while I must leave to fight my battles and indeed
some thirty years did pass, I did return that Fall.

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Comments (2)

Herbert, this is a lovely moving write and I loved it, brilliantly constructed, a lovely story and such feeling animates from it to the reader. Congrats on this one, a beautiful piece of prose. Love Ernestine XXX
Such a sad thing when we have to say goodbye to our children. I'm sure she must be so proud of you. This poem is a beautiful description of the love between a mother and her children. Very nice. Sincerely, Mary