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Waiting for Death in the S.S. Line

with 2 comments

(A poem worked up from old ideas in a 1960’s file folder.)

In the shimmering light of brown,

the S.S. empty another round;

casting their lots for the seamless gown.

Golgotha’s going down

into the blood-soaked ground.

Thugs in jack-boots shooting the slain,

lines of women, children, elderly men,

bodies dropping into piles of pain,

the greenwood cross all over again.

July 3, 2010 – peter krey on World War II

and its mass production of NAZI death


Written by peterkrey

July 4, 2010 at 12:45 am

Posted in My Poems

2 Responses

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  1. This is a frightening poem. I think the most visceral line in my opinion was the shimmering light of brown. It’s like you don’t normally see brown light, but it makes the experience then something dim because of just how horrible it was. It was like light was smudged out in someway. Very creepy. Each line has riveting imagery and I also noticed you could read the poem both forwards and backwards and it works. It still leaves you with the same mood. This is an excellently crafted poem.


    February 21, 2012 at 6:44 am

    • dear Mark,

      In “Waiting for Death in an S.S. Line” I just looked at pictures of the lines of people waiting to be shot and dumped into lime pits in WW II. I fused the image with Jesus’ crucifixion. The Nazi color was brown. They were called brown-shirts. It’s hard to deal with such atrocities in history, especially when I’m part of the German heritage.
      I never noticed that you could read it backwards as well as forwards. It does work!




      February 22, 2012 at 2:21 am

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