The Morning I Woke Up Having Forgotten…
The Morning I Woke Up Having Forgotten I was German
I woke up at eleven feeling conquered by French absinthe
and lacking recollection of events that weren’t too distant,
inside a ferny wood that seemed to me more like a labyrinth.
My sight was blurred, my speech was slurred, my footsteps were resistant.
A passer-by in leather trousers helped me to some cottages
and welcomed me, his neighbour, from the bottom of his larynx.
The worst thing by some miles was he stank of stinking sausages,
his voice was like the gunfire of a swiftly-marching phalanx.
I screamed, “Sod off! I’m English, mate, so spare me any sermon!”
the morning I woke up having forgotten I was German.
I flounced into the village where the children played at marbles
which I picked up and hurled with kindly might across the lawn.
I could not face the wail of their forked tongues, their guttural garbles
and shouted, “By divine right, I am English and freeborn!
And that goes for King Arthur too, and all his gallant warriors
who searched for grails and fought with goatskin flapping at their gussets,
for that is English heritage and we’re no thieves or borrowers,
we’re the ones who saw the bally Romans off with muskets!
This beast you call a ‘Celt’ is as fictitious as a merman!”
the morning we woke up having forgotten we’re all German.
From “Disoccidented” by Alfie Shoyger: