(Lucky Shoes 43 1/2)
By Ibrahim Alickovic
To public opinion
Holding that prison camp is a secular hell
There were--in our camp--
Moments of pure joy.
As one day when
They collected us all in the yard.
Then the command:
Take off your shoes
All you mother-fuckers!
So. We would be barefoot at our own executions.
I trembled, counting time backward
To shorten the time.
The night was quiet.
And full of moonlight.
We fifty-two men without shoes.
There were eighteen of them--with their guns.
Nevertheless, it was not what we thought.
Instead of a shot in the head--
Two big boxes: a gift!
Each of us given a pair of
brand new black shoes.
Each of us equally fit with
the same size: 43 1/2.
Oh! the delight of those new shoes, my God!
Oh! how much more delightful
If some of the shoes had been bigger
Some just a bit smaller--
Still. The pure joy of it!