In the depths of leafy England
during the war
a tree was left to droop and wither.
Perhaps a soldier, home on leave
and yet so far away
the fog horn quilts the dying day
calming us before the night
Pansy Simpson lived with flowers
and Scotty dogs he loved to purl for.
At ten o'clock he'd stop for tea
with buttered scones and floral china.
Now let the final bugle notes tune out
and they will haunt you all your life.
It was not in the fact that your father loved you with his heart
that left you sipping the field marshal's brandy,
How so suddenly the wind
caught your pretty summer frock
hoisted the Celtic printed cloth
dancing with the sketching breeze
My childhood snap,
your war portrait,
each one worn by time.
The cold and narrow widow
kept her husband's skull by the window,
filled it with earth,
grew flowers from the eye sockets
How I love to rig the counterpane
every night before I sleep,
embark upon that journey
to where I'll never weep.
Oh I wish I woz in Blighty
far across the tea
the night nurse served
in these small hours
Droplets of urine in the corridor
between the dining-hall and my room
can only mean that
I have been here before