It is the time after, America and its allies bombed Berlin…. There, standing is a young, foot-soldier on guard duty. Alone, just guarding a truck of military supplies. A big, army-green truck with the number 22 on it along with mud and not rolling now with the conquering, convoy of vehicles. The truck just stubbornly stalled and was left along the singled-out soldier to guard: honestly watch what he does not know what’s inside….. It is a night after rain. A somewhat cold night. The slight wind and cold making good use, drying all. Ye, leaving a stiff, metallic caking on all that remains. A multicapalin that was punished from above by flying missions from high above, bestowing down down upon what was once built from ground-up by now histories lost men…. In the crushed city of blocks and blocks, rest evening’s drying, ash-slush. There are no street lights. No, the bombs took them too. Only a low, burning lantern sits on the truck’s hood ,giving off a leveling slice of yellow glow…. As the young soldier stands, rifle upon body, hangs by a strap, he thinks of course. Thinks of home. Thinks of those towns left standing or not, the ones he has marched through, fought through here in Europe. Remembers the commanding yells, deep, penetrating screams,the clock of moans attached to all war; brutal, since the beginning of hate’s time; most, he remembers,’ forever death ‘…. Hours pass…. He wonders and looks downward. For to look about is only to see, one thing, destruction. Once, great buildings in a great city now struggle for any tomorrow, a longing to stay standing amongst the burned -out rubble. Horror’s landscape of structures all gone, nothing. A piece of a building here and there. Walls of stone or brick with backdrops of killing holes small and large, holes that came hard and fast ; blown out from blast after endless blast. There and there are unimagined ,supported floors still standing, stand at-the-level, complete,yet walls gone as if some dying space of a theater stage. An empty theater, lonely, lying in wait for audience then actors to appear.Once there were thousands of windows giving off sun’s glare or the catch of bedroom light, are but little now. Maybe a door or two stand alone embraced by fatigue frame and all abandoned. Still and as if at attention just a door by itself. As a wide plank purposely put there, saluting and missed by flame’s cruel heat . And the door giving off a eerie feeling. An emotion as such, that if one were to enter through the dark, molested wood; would cross the threshold of ‘thee’ unknown…. The young soldier creates happenings in his head ,concerning walks-of-life, laughter, song, maybe a girl any girl …. Though there is supposed to be a street beneath where he stands. Now nothing, nothing but tire tracks and layers of war’s ash. The worst kind of ash. Ash smashed down by fast, moving boots and armored vehicles . Other places ash thick with many things mixed in: glass, wood, metal, all sorts of human belongings and worst, parts of humans…. So, the night crawls by. The soldier only smells the smell of harsh aftermath, of man’s hell…. He notices ash with a finger nail mixed in on the tip of his boot, he quickly stomps it…. He waits, he wants to hear something, yet no sound comes as if this part of Berlin only exists in a dust, covered glass-bottle…. The wind comes now and then touching his ears; giving off whispered words, words he knows not of. Every so often, he exhales, his shoulders rise causing the strap on the rifle to pull. He he…. Catches a glimpse of something. Just a tad at first. Some bit of color. Then…. More, of it enters the war-world of deep-gray on the oh’so still ,tarnish street. What the young soldier absorbs moving across from him….. Watches it enter, ease through a narrowness in the rubble…. There! Yes there!….Is the whitest cat ever. A pure Holy white…. And the white thing slowly steps here and there. A careful placing of paws with in black night , with in deceased city…. The ‘ whiteness ‘ freezes…. Stares onto man…. And ‘ man ‘…. Stares back.
By :George Martorano