The Storm Shelter

The Storm Shelter

It’s so dark in here;
the light is fading.

I can see the storm approaching through the window above me,
soon the rain will come down.

‘Hier drinnen ist es trocken,’ I say, and it is;
packed in like sardines, but at least we’re dry.

I share an awkward smile with the man next to me –
no, hardly a man, more a boy.
There’s barely any hair on his lip.

In the darkness it’s hard to tell,
which is comforting, in a way.
Difference is hidden by darkness.

But I’m close enough to see
that he has a blemish, in the shape of a star.

“Bloss ein Schauer,” he murmurs;
and I’m glad – glad to share a joke,
with this stranger,
in this place.

The ground looks scarred to me.
I shiver, and wish I had my cigarettes,
and a light.

The silence is getting louder,
even in this cocoon.

A door bangs shut somewhere.
Slowly, but surely, the creaking thunder fills my mind.
Rain begins to fall.
The storm comes.

My thoughts mingle with the rain.
The world tilts.

They open the doors,
light floods in.
The world watches. It learns.
Through unseeing eyes I gave the departing rain a name.

Holocaust

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