Der Zug and the Waiting Room: A Tragedy in Three Short Acts by Sy Roth


Act 1-The Waiting Game

Fire and hunger had a terminus as all evil does,
but for her
interminable war.

She remembered–

Sitting stiffly on the bench,
the smells of a humanity running hither and yon
she waits with trepidation and longing
stitched together in the portrait of her hands–
those errant children bundling and unbundling in her lap.

Her head snapped several times during her wait
his head appearing only in the morning mist of her dreams
while the crowds meandered about her, view obscurant,
her world an endarkment seeking a tie,
a remnant of the familial
rendered null.

The depot housed a mélange of the changed.
They meandered helplessly
listening for the sound of the zug, a steamy chug amidst the dead
waiting for tearful hugs among them, retrievals of the lost.

Der zug huffs and puffs and chuffs a sad threnody
tattoos its shrill whistle of arrivals and departures.
She could hear the wheels braking in a screech of Valkyries
on a filmy morning where light promises endless night
in the terminus of her consternation.

She could hear the clock’s seconds make its rounds–
see the fretful faces and the endless miles yet to be travelled,
but Peter–
disappeared in the bustling masses,
replaced by the smell of boundless abandonment.

The seconds stopped ticking when they had all gone,
leaving behind a tattered dream among the ashes of the extinct.

The last zug clacks its way from the station
and the bench bears the sweat of her loss.

Acts 2–He Plies the Lethe

The marks of age etched on her face
told a tale of the zug that still cluttered her memory.
Peter had not come
and he had not died
she said.

He transformed into a Christmas carol,
a maven who lived steps away from their inferno.
He replaced her with forgetfulness.
She became a cipher,
a tattered memory
he, a photo with her arm draped cavalierly over his shoulder
inhaling the smell of his muskiness
a Proustian Madelaine.

Acts 3–Dredge Dead

There was no forgiveness in his forgetting.
She wondered, sought reasons for his departure
found none only his name inscribed
lost among the detritus of his past
and the soccer matches
played beside those who purloined his life.

She wept for the fatuous memories he sought to assign to his abyss.
She would have to contend with renaming
too lost to the end-of-times that dragged his memories
through her nacht and nebel to his unlabeled life
into an endless hole of amnesiac blues.

©2017 Sy Roth

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Sy Roth is a retired school administrator and has finally found the sounds of silence and the time to think whole thoughts. This has led him to find words and the ability to shape them. He has published in Visceral Uterus, Amulet, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, Barefoot Review, Haggard and Halloo, Misfits Miscellany, Mad Swirl, Larks Fiction Magazine, Danse Macabre, Bitchin’ Kitch, Bong is Bard, Humber Pie, Poetry Super Highway, Penwood Review, Masque Publications, Foliate Oak, Miller’s Pond Poetry and The Eloquent Atheist.

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