Atlantic Wall, St Ouen’s Bay, Jersey
After Günter Eich

This is his cap
made from a sack.

This is his shirt,
a blanket.

This is his belt,
clothes-hanger wire.

This is his coat,
a girl’s jacket.

These are his shoes,
bags tied with string.

This is his skin,
stiff with cement

and swollen over the bones
of his tumbling face.

These are his eyes.
Meet them.

Note: As in other occupied countries, the Organisation Todt was in charge of slave and forced labour camps in the Channel Islands. Sixteen thousand men were brought to the islands to build fortifications which were part of the Atlantic Wall. Workers were conscripted from across Europe and Russia, and included Spanish Republicans, North Africans, Poles, Czechs, and men, women and children from Ukraine and other parts of the Soviet Union.