White Rose

Manuscript title: White Rose
Genre: YA historical in verse
Word count: 25,000

First page:

Execution: February 22, 1943, 5:30pm

Johann Reichhart, Executioner

My job isn’t easy,
but it’s done for the day,
and for the first time
in all my years,
I’m stunned.

I thought I’d seen
everything:
condemned souls begging,
others sobbing,
shaking so hard
they could not be tied down,
a blade failing—once.
But never before
have I seen
the like of these three
dignified
young
people.

Tonight,
I’ll go home
and weep.