Rod Scott

In A Gentle Way You Can Shake The World

When they draped the flag on your coffin mate
I was dumb, dead with it-
they ought to at least give you one last chance
to dance the dance of life-

you were the grass growing and the earth
firm beneath our feet,
you were the cotton on our backs the day
we sweated for glory on the pitch man!
The ball sailed right through every eye in the stadium
shot like a bolt straight into your hands,
feet that float and fly away, man what a sight!

You were there the day we found the champagne
in Searge's knapsack, we were soused,
so soused we just made it to parade with the west wind in our eyes
pulling the tears onto our faces, the day we went away-

the day we went to the desert
the day they took us in the Humvee
the day the Humvee bucked high like a grasshopper
leapin' straight up
straight up-
the day we looked and you were a man with two arms and
we cried to see the legs gone, the legs you sent
like two pistons of dynamite
across the pitch like a piece of high-octane rocket-maniac
after that beaut of a ball,

the day we swore we'd come and drink your health,
stack the cans out back the way we used to
and shoot the breeze, bring it all on, let it all out-
we cried, Paul and Johnny- you remember?

Don't know if we cried
the day Crazy Connie died-

So it all comes down
to a flag here on the coffin and the guns
that they shoot to salute when you leave-

Donnie you were gentle and you shook our world.

Topic(s) of this poem: heroes

Poem Submitted: Sunday, October 26, 2014
Poem Edited: Thursday, October 30, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

The stimulus for this came from another poetry website whose name I can't remember right now. I chose the quote offered, a quote from Mahatma Ghandi.I dedicated it to all those service personnel who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wrote it as a one-off, did not redraft, typed straight into the website box in 5 mins. Donnie is the nickname for my nephew, who is named after my late brother Donald, to whom this is partly also dedicated to.
I got an idea from watching American football in the past- I really love when they launch the ball long and high, and there's a fantastic catch and touchdown.
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