assasination1            Princip_arrested

Gavrilo Princip assassinates Archduke Ferdinand and is promptly arrested

WRONG TURN

By David Allen

A wrong turn
A stalled engine
And a cup of coffee
Ignited the “Great War,”
The “War to End all Wars,”
That sparked the century of conflict
That left untold millions dead.
Gavrilo Princip
Leaned against the wall of a café
On Sarajevo’s Franz Josef Street
And wondered how the plot to
Start a revolution went wrong.
“It was a good plan,” he told a friend
While standing on the sidewalk in front
Of Moritz Schiller’s Café.
“Six of us of ‘Young Bosnians’
Lined the motorcade route
That damned royal son-of-a-bitch
Was taking to city hall.
We each had a bomb. Six of us!
How could it have gone wrong?”
The first Young Bosnian
Chickened out and ran from the scene.
The second threw his grenade a second too late
And it exploded under  a car following
Archduke Ferdinand’s convertible.
The heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown,
Emperor Franz Josef’s nephew, was unhurt.
The blast injured two in the second car.
The motorcade sped up , leaving
The four remaining Young Bosnians,
Trained in terror by the Serbian nationalist group,
The “Black Hand,” lost their chance for infamy.
“We were willing to die for a united Yugoslavia,”
Princip told his friend. “Serbia and Bosnia together,
Free from the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Later, across the city, Ferdinand decided to
Visit those injured in the bombing.
While en-route, the Archduke’s driver
Took a wrong turn.
To his amazement,
Princip saw the Archduke’s touring car
Swing into Franz Josef Street,
He watched in awe as the car attempted to turn
And stalled, just feet front from where he stood.
Quickly, Princip took a few step forward and fired his pistol,
Killing both Ferdinand and his wife.
And the old world died with them.
Princip attempted to turn his gun
On himself, but an onlooker slapped it from his hand.
Nearby police then beat him senseless.
He was tried, and sentenced to only twenty years,
Because he was only 19 years old.
Princip died of tuberculosis in prison
In 1918, just a few months before the war ended
And the wheels spun into motion for World War II
And the rest of the bloody century.

WRONG TURN TWO
By David Allen

“See?” the student asked
When he finished reading
His history paper.
“World War I started
Because of a succession
Of mistakes.”
“A fine piece of history,”
The teacher said, smiling.
“But don’t believe for a minute
The war could have been averted
Had Princip not stopped for coffee.
Franz Josef was looking for
An excuse to invade Serbia,
The capture of the failed Sarajevo
Bomber would have been cause enough.
Hell, a bad night’s sleep could have
Moved him to give the word.
All of Europe was itching for a fight.

These poems were  a challenge for the Last Stanza Poetry folks. This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and we weretasked to write a poem about the war.  

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