Your eyes tell me you have given up
Being more than a bundle of habits
Sewn in a suit, dragged on through long days of talk
Without speaking, hung in a wardrobe at night but I notice
You are holding a pen as if you still write.
The clock has been silent for as long as I know,
An ornament without use, rusty hands desperately
Pointing towards God in accusation
But you wipe off its dust three times an hour.
It has witnessed a war and occupants in this room
Soldiers in a strange land, laughing with bravery
But the clock was silenced, for its ticking fed their guilt.
You lost your wife in a camp.
One day you took the class out in the fields for making sketches
And I tried to draw you. I started with your eyes,
But I tore up the paper before you could see them.
You were my teacher but I can’t remember what subject you taught.
Maybe it was life. Most likely it was German. Not art.