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Elegy for Hanns Breitenbach (1890–1945)

statue [1]112 words

You disappeared in the dead of winter,
but not like Yeats. No wife or mistress
were at your side. A hole and splinter
alarmed you, but did not distress.

Duty called. You would not part
your sculptor’s studio, the stench
of war not keep you from your art,
from rasps and chisels on your bench.

hanns [2]Dressed in a motorcycle coat
to warm you in the bitter cold,
you did not cower in fear or gloat.
You stood by your files and mould.

The Bolshies gave you a lead fan,
a spray of Marx across the chest.
They took you for an SS man,
and heaped your body with the rest.

20 February 2014