Dragons Over Hamburg

We didn't understand at first

The roar that shook the earth,

The roar that would tear screams from our throats

And shake the fear slumbering in our souls,

The fear that would stretch like a cat's shadow until we lay in darkness.


Then the dragons came.


Their low mechanical growls rattling in the darkness

Stiff wings outstretched like a mother's arms---

Or a dead man's, floating face down in the waters of the canals

That would later flood with the cries of the dying.

How that fire must have burned inside them,

How gleefully they must have unleashed hell on us!


That night we died for the sake of a madman.

Over 30,000 dead, eaten alive by the greedy breath

Of these iron dragons,

The fire that consumed as no swarm had ever consumed.

The fire that could not be vanquished,

That burned like the hate in their wounded souls.


Their loved ones fallen, their homeland burning,

They set us aflame.

Men, women, and children set aflame in the wake

Of the fell prophecy you called "Gomorrah"

And so we suffered.


Some of us tasted the grace of the bullet,

A single shot through the brain as we writhed in the canals

Nothing could gentle the agony, nothing could quench their terrible hunger

The hunger for blood, for flesh, for vengeance.


And at the end,  we suffered as you must have suffered.

Your dragons killed us.

Our babies, our husbands, our fathers, our mothers




Your dragons destroyed

253000 apartment blocks

35500 houses

77 cinemas

58 churches

24 hospitals

277 schools

and a zoo.

Teacher is silent.

We will never see the tigers again.

Our voices will never be raised in song again,

Only in prayers and pleas for mercy as we burn.

Everything is dust and ash.


In your righteous anger,

We burned.


Tell us,


Do you feel like heroes now?




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