From Mother To Son To Mum

She gave me his signet ring last week
She softly spoke his name
I took it from her painful hand
And read what’s on that golden band
Our initials are the same

You were the same age as my sweet babe
And I the same age as he
When grim fate rolled his dice so sad
Between a wee Scottish lass and her dad
And decided it wasn’t to be

What was he to you, my mother?
You know there’s one thing war can’t kill
The love of a father for his girl
A flag just starting to unfurl
I know he’s crying still

You remember clambering over him
In his armchair pestering
"Paint a picture for my friend"
He had a gift for brooks that wend
Through a cool wind, westering

You’re riding on his handlebars
Memory two of five
Not a lot to hang onto there
Just a big fat bouncy cushion chair
And a daddy still alive

Rattling freewheel panic now
You nosedive down the hillside
Weak chest a war effort spoiler
So he stokes a charcoal boiler
Very gently choking on fumes and genocide

He didn’t want you afraid of the dark
So he took you out one night
Where you touched the stars in the velvet sky
Heard the owl’s mournful cry
Saw the bat’s erratic flight

You were his everything, I’m sure
‘Twas your small presence he selected
Resting by the old stone wall
The moon in a crystal waterfall
To infinity reflected

Wide four year-old eyes alight now
V-E Day blazes from his shoulders
History seen from a ghostly height
You’re holding on with all your might
As the dying bonfire smoulders

One final token of a life
A little girl playing on shiny floors
Of the hospital where so pale he lay
Before from her world he slipped away
Like a loosened rope from newly liberated shores

"He loves me, he loves me not"
She’s picking petals in her mind
Her swinging legs don’t reach the ground
She only wish he’d stayed around
For the one he left behind



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