“Letter to a Haggard Young Doctor” by Sven Kretzschmar

And you my sister,
there in the dark shadows you rest
crouched, sleepless, empty of tears
for those you didn’t rescue
in the doubts of every winter.

Did you face the courage of the bewildered
when, for the first time, you had to sew up
the dead’s pockets,
so they couldn’t take with them the bad
luck they had in their lifetimes?

Have you ever dreamt
of taking a gander on the world
outside these cold long corridors,
ill-lit and strange,
and yet of so direful familiarness?

Get off your bench where you never find sleep!
The ambulanceman says there’s yet another one
and you’ll have to lie again saying
‘All will be fine.’,
when the least you could do for them
is nothing at all.




Sven Kretzschmar hails from County Saarland, Germany, his place of birth and residency. His poetry has been published widely in Europe and overseas, including with Poetry Jukebox in Belfast, in Writing Home. The ‘New Irish’ Poets (Dedalus Press, 2019), Poets Meet Politics (Hungry Hill Writing, 2020) Hold Open the Door (UCD Press, 2020), Voices 2020 (Cold River Press, 2020) and 100 Words of Solitude (Rare Swan Press, 2021), in The Irish TimesLive EncountersSkylight 47, Das Gedicht, Loch Raven ReviewWordpeace2 Meter Review and Selcouth Station. He was awarded 1st prize in the ‘Creating a Buzz in Strokestown’ competition in 2018 and was shortlisted for several other awards. See more at: https://trackking.wordpress.com/ and Instagram: @sven_saar_poetry

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