It’s fifty years today since dad died.
I was three when he returned, late,
from the horrors of Burma.
He died when I was nineteen.
Sixteen short years was all we shared,
and ruefully, I struggle to remember.
He returned to another war zone,
the domestic front.
Two good people,
changed irrevocably by circumstance,
just two more invisible casualties of war.
I recall fleeting connections.
Helping dad in the bottom garden,
his refuge from mum’s house.
A Christmas when each was served a baby chicken,
and we gleefully tore them by hand,
pretending to be Henry VIII.
Just once going to ‘the club’,
But overwhelmingly I remember
growing up with two unhappy people,
from whom the gift
of relating to each other
had been untimely ripped.
I didn’t understand.
Didn’t know enough.
Fifty years on
When I reflect on what might have been
What I have
Then my heart aches for dad,
Les Littleford's Other Poems
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