A storoem addressing the ability of the human mind to allow opposing values to coexist.
|The soldier, home on leave, awakes early
to help his wife feed and dress their children.
He places ribbons in his daughter’s curly
hair, which he has brushed until now silken.
He tickles, hugs, and smothers with kisses
all three offspring until they laugh aloud.
He grows sad, thinking how much he misses
them while serving so resolute and proud.
“We’ll be late to church unless we hurry,”
his wife says, as she stops to kiss her man.
The two embrace and leave in a flurry,
the family filling their new sedan.
The wife is justly proud of her husband.
Family and friends comment on how kind
and loving he is, how they’re accustomed
to his nature so gentle and refined.
That evening as he prepares to return
to his unit, his wife says, “How I pray
for us to soon win this war. I so yearn
to have you safely home with us to stay.”
As he dons his Nazi officer’s coat,
“There’s no army we cannot decimate.
As for my safety, my camp is remote,
where trainloads of Jews we exterminate.”
A staff car carries him back straight away.
The man’s heart feels neither guilt nor dismay.
(History will record millions fell prey
to Nazis whose moral compass went astray.)
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