Lament for the Taste of a Dead Cat
Before our fail and our demise
The cold the same
The Hollow eyes.
First our horse and then the dog
No use wishing for a fat old hog.
But then came Christmas
Nettle soup; no salt
And no Noel, no tree
No potato and no beet
No fish bone soup.
All gathered ‘round our Stalingrad cat.
Oh how we loved that old grey cat
Wurst and cream, an occasional rat.
We stroked its fur
And scratched its neck.
Its belly too cried for its bread.
But a belly is an ungrateful boss.
Past food forgotten
And more wanted.
A quick slit and no remorse
It shed it blood and died for us.
A morsel each all we got.
All gathered ‘round our Stalingrad cat’.
Shuffling bloody footprints in the snow
Icy cutting killing blow
Eastward miles of gray lament
Backs broken on Siberian cement.
From the line forms fall out
Some collapse, a muffled shot
A butcher’s bill is paid in full
Peace declared, a soul departed.
Piercing cold has no remorse
The guards’ long knives a proving force.
Dogs’ bay freezes in mid bark
Hunger’s jealousy for his rib.
Another belt hole taken up
Iron rations 400 grams
a zek inhales a precious smoke.
Oh for the taste of that Stalingrad cat.
The stomach never remembers … the belly is an ungrateful wretch, it never remembers past favors, it always wants more tomorrow.”
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