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In Clear Perspective, by GUNTER GRASS

May 12, 1996

Come, fog, o come! Make us anonymous.

We have been caught redhanded in the (undone)

act.

Our salad wilts with too much of the salt it lacked,

as guileless as once Blum, our Minister, was,

expecting guests that others pay for, raising no

objections.

We lived on credit, privileged and certain,

but somebody (a God) who lifts the long fog's

curtain

has leaked the figures for the next elections.

Dressed up, all shortened to the medium size,

tears plastered over, class differences most crass

all cloaked. No whiff (oh no!) reminded them of

gas.

The anthem's third stanza only valid (hummed

with lowered eyes).

On the victor's side we lived, divided, safe from

stress,

till unity struck us and proved merciless.

From "Novemberland: Selected Poems" by Gunter Grass. (Harcourt Brace: $25; 163 pp.)

Copyright 1996 Reprinted by permission.

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