Poem of the Week - 'Kraut Girl' by Sarah Fletcher
This week's favourite comes from Sarah Fletcher's new collection, Kissing Angles, which is out from Dead Ink this month. She provides a little bit of historical context for this poem by way of an epigraph: "'Kraut Girls' were Dutch nationals who sought relationships with invading German officers for safety during WWII and were treated as traitors after the Dutch liberation."
When I played Yahtzee, I would drop the die
to the floor so each turn I could help
mein Herr to an eyeful when I'd kneel down
to pick it up. Then win. I know his razor
burn from skin-on-skin, the rash of kissing
moustached men. The mouth-null of tongue
when they left, the red that set across
my upper lip for days. Beyond the kiss,
my job was synonymous with sextonship.
Beyond the sex, I'd oversee my town-cum-grave
those days Johann was gone away.
I tried to hide my Rhine diamond. Locals
hissed and chided my betrayal. They'd spit.
And though my hands, weighted with ring, had faith
when he was here, they grew agnostic
when he left. And then he did for good.
I bore his mandrake babies: hymned das Wort
war bei dem Mann und der Mann war das Wort.
But these were just the jots and tittles, none
of which passed the law fulfilled. Later,
they shaved my head and each red follicle
rose to the surface like a fresh love bite:
my baldness then synonymous with justice.
That was more the point.