Kaspar Hauser

Laurence Lerner

All that long time there was the place I was,
All that long same, the dark and constant same.
I came to being and it bit my eyes.

I want to be a rider like my father.
A soldier was my father was a horseman.
I want to be a rider and I want

Out of that same he carried me up stairs,
Out of that dark and then I stood to lean;
The soft ground stood and hit me till I fell.

When it was hunger time they put soft life
Into my mouth. It moved. The warm flesh tore
Under my teeth. This could be me I’m eating.

I spat and called: I loved that time, those horses
The brittle bread the water the soft dark
The stiff floor always there the always steady

Till I was carried to the bumpy world.
The air threw needles at my eyes. I fell.
Where were my walls my horse to push and where

I want my floor my bread my dark my always –
I want the same the only same the only –
I want to be a rider like my father.