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U3A Writing: Dad’s War

Meryl Nickel brings a moving reminder of wars which are won, yet lost.

Head in hands and shoulders bent
He sits alone in his lamp-lit shed
recalling each wartime incident,
surrounded by comrades long dead

I dare not disturb his reverie
I don't understand the source of the sadness
I sense, the sorrow I see,
and the instinctual feeling of remorse.

Does he march again in the Flanders mud,
flanked by the mates he recalls?
Does he hear again the ominous thud
of the shell that explodes as it falls?

I cannot give him the comfort he needs
what do I know of war?
Only the sagas of heroic deeds
Of those who went before.

Yet I hear the bugles sound once more,
I hear the young men's boast
as they march again to another war
far from their homeland's coast.

My Father's son is marching now
and my Father knows the cost,
the futility, the destruction of wars,
wars that are won - yet lost.


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