Escape from Nazis …
For months we had studied to expose a weak spot
rehearsing in code with the Nazis at earshot.
They bunked us on slabs that were ten feet by twelve
A communal toilet our treasure not even a shelf
We drummed up ideas to make our escape,
Some were of folly and some held debate
The Nazis were clever they countered our plots
The sand there was yellow and easy to spot.
The muck of the mud and the yellow distinction
The sands didn’t mesh they were contradistinction.
So devious and clever these Nazis sure were,
yet their heinous behavior I deeply demurred.
Collapsible sand meant tunnels were poor
And structural integrity was weak at the core.
Design features kept us from delving new tunnels
The height factor kept us from under the hovels.
They raised all the bunkers 2 feet off ground
with seismic recorders to catch all the sounds
The Luffwaffe and Weirmacht took turns holding station
With newcomers vetted to halt infiltration.
How silly there were though, to educate us,
with language, and theatre as one syllabus.
Despite what you heard of, some guards acted civilly
The Luffwaffe with flyers took favor implicitly.
With pity at the vanguard, their craft and the valor,
With casual asepsis removed from the squalor
The flyboys were privileged in definite aspects
But make no mistake it was farthest from respect…
We busted the door, and broke down the gate,
Fixing the fire pins, and consenting to fate
We rose up the guns we took from the guards,
Pulled back on the hammers and rushed to the yard
My blood pressure soaring, my body on fire,
The spotlights descending from towering spires
I looked through my optic and shot out the lights
Reloaded my weapon and waned into night
We ran towards the forest and gathered our ranks
The moonlight was fading and darkness was blank
A cold sky of velvet was eerie and void,
The silence disturbing, alertness deployed.
In steps coming edgy, the floor branches cracked
The Nazis were monsters you should not attract
These forests had camps and strongholds abound
But all here was quiet not even a sound.
In a way life itself had been dispossessed
And the silence for the trees had come now to rest.
The shapes in the mud were not really formed
Perhaps some were fresh from the last winter storm.
The woods left abandoned and life was effaced
forsaken the corpses their skin was disgraced
Some people held close to their pain and their grief
With crosses clenched tightly they found their relief.
The mood was so somber, the air was so still
Echoes made crackles of the hearts broken will
I saw in the carnage a late wilted rose
And that night my tears had dowsed like a hose.
I fell to my knees in cigarette ash
Hoping the moment would just come and pass
The platoon I was leading was ravaged and weak
Morale was in freefall the moods were still meek.
Weeks had gone by without seeing sun,
Its gilded pseudoscience so heavenly spun
But still in its stead, the drifts of grey smoke,
the churning of death perfuming the sky never cloaked.
And with crippling hands the soul purges form,
As mites of rot corrode and embers still swarm.
I took one glance up to the opaque like skies
The earth was spent from tears it no longer cries.
Its husk lays there dying from wounds very deep,
with inhabitants sickly and driven to sleep.
The masses out droning for peace or for death,
their leaders not willing to spare one more breath.
And the earth falls asunder under missile and mortar
reluctantly losing its sons and its daughters.
But we remain stubborn, insistent on life
Not stopping nor resting ‘til we’re home with our wives.
We hunted our breakfast and lit a small fire,
The rations were empty, the waters expired.
My judgment would bar me from certitude’s wing,
I sat there so helpless recalling all things
The scent of the orchards, the smell of the rain,
The sea and the hours alone in my brain
Since darkness inquired my services soon
I spoke up so sternly saying charge at high noon.
I wanted it over, I wanted to die,
The late nights were times I’d just sit there and cry.
We were dredging for days not finding a soul
We killed every creature, even cooked up a foal.
But stridden our passage, to find our way home,
Losing some soldiers in the night winters moan.
I once was a medic, a chaplain a time or two
I tried to revive them, but already knew…
From being malnourished our bodies were frail
To track us was easy on our indolent trail
But still we would slow down and bury them right.
We’d garnish the dirt mounds with crosses of white.
All were our brothers and deserved proper rites
Saluted for those cold days, admired for those sleepless nights
Though some were just faces there still lived a bond,
one ‘til this day that’s continued to live on.
And those nights in anguish, which now they’re spared
Those lesioned hearts, that were raped and bared,
Were pierced with sorrow and smeared with anger,
now are resting in peace far away from the rancor.
Embattled we were with no torch or a guide
The days were so endless the night time’s deprived
The radio was silent but just for a sec,
I remember hearing something, so I went and I checked.
A voice in plain English was barking commands
A voice on the box we’d all understand.
We listened in hard, deciphering codes
I heard in the message we’re by a railroad
Battalions had gathered to wipe out this train
A beast of such armor it stultified planes.
We leapt in a hurry and made up our minds
The fates in our favor, the stars had aligned.
As dumb luck had freed us from ominous claws,
I stood to salute Him and gave Him applause
He deemed us essential to be in His plan,
The Lord gave us courage to help make a stand.
With drive and desire we packed up our sacks
Reloading the ammos we found on our track.
In hopes to enliven that warlike composure
We psyched ourselves up as we got even closer
The weakness of starving had melted away
It was time for the soldiers to come save the day
Upon the horizon between all the snow
The camos of Sherman’s ignited and shone…
Word throughout camps was that train was derailed
The previous soldiers had won without fail.
It gave us a moment to regroup our thoughts
Gung ho to vapid, our courage had throttled for naught.
When given a moment we cherished it so,
A few sovereign breaths removed from infernos
We sat by the rummage, the shit and smoke,
Lit up a fire reminisced and we spoke.
That night went so smooth, my eyelids were thankful,
then sirens began wailing and the peacetime was cancelled
The panzers were coming, the Wehrmacht on blitz
A hopeful bulge through the center, our defenses to split…
….To be continued