... About myself-for others

The Last Supper

The Last Supper

It was on that night that they took to the streets.
They seemed to be angry, but they came in peace.
They stood in the center of the square in silence.
Children of the nation, now standing united.

In a house on the square, on the fourth floor,
In a civic apartment, with ‘four/fourteen’ on the door,
At a set table, the Leader put on his dress shirt,
Getting ready for dinner, lighting candles in the center.

The crowd stood below, their voices inaudible.
They had problems with the system, but they didn’t want no trouble.
I believe there has never been such a scorching hot summer!
Was heard as Géza, the retired teacher, muttered.

He placed the duck legs into the preheated oven,
And took a sip of the champagne in front of him.
He took the flat-bottomed glass into two fingers.
Unable to hear the people’s complaints linger.

The rain was drizzling, but they stood silently.
Awaiting each other, or just applause maybe.
They watched the balcony, where the light danced.
Their faith was all gone. No more hope at last.

He rolled his sleeves up and sat at the piano keys,
Playing a melody while dinner roasted in the grease.
He hummed aloud to the simple little song,
Covering the sound of the revolution’s throng.

One voice was heard: Let’s chase down the leader!
If not for that reason, then why are we here?
This simple phrase, which all understood,
Spread mouth-to-mouth like the spark of fire would.

He was watching the large crowd from his window.
Pondering whether he should shoot the ones below.
He waved his hand tiredly: That’s not his task.
He has people for this reason, they’ll handle that.

The agitated crowd was chanting the words,
When the guards closed down the streets at the turns.
Someone from the crowd threw a rock towards them,
But he just clutched his chest and fell to the pavement.

The Man could hear the adults run and gasp.
While folding a white tablecloth in half.
He wasn’t bothered by the noise of the shots,
He just turned the oven even higher and watched.

The crowd was screaming, everybody’s escaping,
Whoever was in the way was quickly down, laying.
The infantry came and shot at everyone,
Taking the “conspirers” out one by one.

He combed through his thinning, snow white hair,
Not hearing even the grenade’s loud blare.
He served himself soup with a big ladle,
Unworried about the brutal scenes that turned fatal.

There were still a few left of those who resisted,
The guards hunted them down, one by one, and persisted.
Finally, they found “those bastard revolters.”
Luck of the draw determined who got to be their destroyer.

The neighboring house was in ashes, scattering dust around,
While he cracked open the very best bottle of wine he found.
He helped himself to a serving of delicious pudding,
To the commotion below, not listening or looking.

All over the square, there writhe the injured.
From one of the streets, combat cars emerged.
Some stood up then, bloody but still proud,
Under the tank tread, they became heroes of the crowd.

He sat at the table and picked up a duck leg,
Pressing a button with his hand, letting the grease spread.
Dipping it in the cranberry sauce on his plate,
He watched, from the window, the massacre’s state.

The soldiers retreated. They received the order.
The people believed they’d given up, it’s over.
With tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces,
They looked up at the fourth floor’s balcony, elated.

Wiping his greasy fingers into the curtain,
Not paying any mind to those standing below him.
The duck leg was bad! At least I’ve had better!
He watered the plants with the wine still leftover.

Slowly, they gathered, awaiting the change.
A bite of bread, a miracle, a Messiah’s reign.
A plane flew above them with its whirring noise.
The nation celebrating, exclaiming in joy.

He looked at the square and was deeply afraid.
From a distant noise, the window shook and it swayed.
Did I even let out that hidden ghost?
Not realizing the danger of the cloud made of smoke.

All those on the square awaited the Leader,
They clapped for him to come to the balcony, near.
They waited and waited for the man in charge,
Until they saw the mushroom cloud above, so large.

He was satisfied, for he remained the Leader,
And to keep it that way, the steps he took were clear.
He was curious then and stepped out on the balcony,
And with his whole nation, burned to ashes and history.

Translated by Esther Brownwood. 2024.06.06.

Kép: Tóth “Tadeus” Gábor


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