At Siegen

At Siegen, a single Panzer halts Allied ammo convoy for 30 minutes

Speak English, soldier boy,
she said, your German is atrocious.
I want no compliments from you.
Some American shot my brother;
I haven’t heard from him for months.

I waved you over here
because I want an American son
to teach him to hate Americans.
You will remember when you grow up,
whether you want to or not,
there is a possibility that
you have a son who hates
every cell of your body.

When you are still young,
you will remember your child
every time you hear Marlene
Dietrich sing “Lili Marleen.”
When you are middle aged,
the remembrance will be
as steady as the ringing in your ears,
and you will remember always
when someone asks you about the scar
on your neck where I bit you
at the crucial moment.

You had better pull up your pants
and run because your convoy
is starting to move. Don’t forget
your carbine; I don’t need it
because my words are more
potent than the biggest gun.

And be careful when you pass through Siegen,
there will still be anger and danger
because maybe, I lied to both of us.


Bill Lovelady is a member of Helena Monthly Meeting, MT (NPYM).

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