Spandau Prison

An entire prison in Berlin
maintained for years for one man — Rudolph Hess,
the last Nazi, founder of the luftwaffe,
the last of Hitler’s inner circle.

It drew me like a magnet
when I was young and the old man was still alive.
i walked up to it
ignoring the sign that said
anyone crossing a painted line
was in danger of being shot–
like a dumb American, really?
I thought.

The guard in the tower
waved me away wildly
until I realized how much
fear there was of this
one
sad
old man.

Hess eventually hanged himself
with an electrical cord.

His work was done.

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