by Reinhard F. Hahn
on the Low Saxon poem “He wak” by Klaus Groth (1819–1899)
came to his bedside wearing her shroud
and held in her hand a light.
She was even whiter than her shroud
and the whitewashed wall, that white.
This is how she slowly crossed the floor
and gently touched the curtain.
She shone the light in his face some more,
bent down as if to be certain.
Yet her mouth was shut, shut too her eyes
and motionless her breast.
She moved no lid, yet you’d surmise
that speaking was her quest.
Down his spine and skin crept terror sheer
and hard his heart did pound.
He meant to scream in mortal fear
but could not make a sound.
He tried to move with all his might
to ward off his demise,
But in his horror, dread and fright
his limbs just would not rise.
But once he managed to prevail
she had reached the door from his bed,
As white as chalk, wearing her veil,
lighting the gloom ahead.