ON THE DEATH OF A MURDERER
by John Wain
'ONE day Vera showed us a photograph of some local Gestapo men which had come into her hands. The photograph had been taken when they were in the country outside Prague for a day's holiday. The young men were ranged in two rows in their neat uniforms, and they stared out at us with professionally menacing but unhappy eyes from that recent past now dead.
'. . . After the relief of Prague these young men were hunted through the countryside, Vera told us, like wild game, and all of them taken and killed.'
Edwin Muir, Autobiography
Over the hill the city lights leaped up.
But there in the fields the quiet dusk folds down.
A man lies in a ditch. He listens hard.
His own fast breathing is the biggest sound
But through it, coming nearer, he hears another:
The voices of his hunters, coming nearer.
They are coming, and he can run no further.
He was born in a Germany thrashing like a fish
On a gravel towpath beating out its life.
As a child, something they called the Blockade
Nearly strangled him with impersonal cold fingers.