A poem for ‘Europa‘ by Andrew Heath https://www.amazon.co.uk/Europa-Andrew-Heath/dp/B01LYHL716
For further information on Andrew Heath’s music, please click here: https://andrewheath.bandcamp.com/
The fatal morning Europe woke up and thought it had something to say,
there was nobody else left in the world able to listen.
Oh, earth, the bones had gathered to queue for bread,
by the front door at Saint Joseph seminary.
An ordinary day for ordinary death.
The bakery opened and closed.
The workers arrived on time for a last shift then went home.
The ovens had no traces of grain.
The ink stained hope filled up rusty water pipes.
The crowds’ whisper went on, up the hill, out of the city.
After that, freedom meant nothing.
It all came down to
who could hold the front running place the longest.
The winter Clara and I secretly discovered socialism
we had nothing left in the house
that was worth burning.
The frost surrounded the bedroom,
we talked to keep warm
and I suggested to write on the walls.
We used the kitchen knife to sharpen crayons
and kept at it for a couple of hours.
‘All western countries, enemies of the people!
Kill the foreigners!
Kill Ronald Reagan!’
I thought Ro-nald was such a bad name
for a man who never wrote children books,
probably he deserved to die.
My spelling was not very good at that age,
so the room filled with rainbows instead.
Clara and I laughed.
At that point, we felt hungry and I remembered
mother kept the bible covered with cloth
on top of the fridge
so I lifted the shiny red cover, sliced it in very small pieces
and added water and salt.
The feast carried on for a bit.
Clara and I chewed with determination several chapters.
We almost got half way through
when I read: ‘Then there shall be a time of trouble …for
every one that shall be found written in the book.’
And then, in the middle of our small apartment,
the game stopped.
I went back to the wall
and changed the words around.
‘Ro-land, orphan but free’.
Photograph: @John Stadnicki, ‘Piazza’, 2016