Fall 2017 / Poetry 2017 / Volume 48

Freiheit! Freiheit!–Michael Estabrook

Long lines at Copenhagen Airport

a stocky, older gentleman

with a graying crew-cut and sandals suddenly

begins screaming in German,

“Freiheit! Freiheit!”

waving his passport around over his head.

 

It takes a minute or two

until he is surrounded by airport security guys

in their tall boots and yellow flak jackets.

They’re confused, talking to him calmly,

but he keeps screaming,

“Freiheit! Freiheit!”

waving his passport around over his head.

 

Then a woman security agent

enters the scene, talking softly,

touching his arms gently.

He calms down then,

he’s sweating, his eyes bulging wide,

mouth so dry, but he calms down then.

 

There’s nothing

like a woman’s soothing voice

to calm a man down

and if this were the States

that poor old fellow would’ve been down

on the ground a long time ago.

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