nikki hays

Rookie (30th October 1971 / croydon, victoria, Australia)

Why - Poem by nikki hays

Hands wedged between his knobbled knees
I wondered how long it would take for this wayward soul to speak
Not once did his steely grey eyes lift from the cold damp cement
'smoke' I offered but wordlessly he denied
I wonder how many battles this skeleton had fought to find such desperation
Gaunt chiselled face behind a mask of sorrow sat
Almost lifeless but for the cold that escaped his chapped lips
Then gruffly came a voice from behind his sheepskin beard
'Cold these days, not like what it was back then'
Intrigued i offered up a cup of brew, and watched his light flow in
His eyes lit up to fire and he lifted up his chin
'I had a home' the stranger said 'A loving wife and son'
'And then they took it all away those unrelentless ones'
Should i ask more i thought to self or is it best now not to pry
An eery thought that this man should watch his son and wife both die
'We were stationed near the battle ground, i took them both with me
I was there to help save lives and then they took the ones i loved from me'
A doctor i was soon to find this shadow once was named
The people that he tried to help brought terror to his game
Whole villages this man had told were smashed and burned for what?
To take another victory the enemy stole the lot
Such shame this world should look and see in what we all now do
Are we any better now than when the nazis tried to rule?
Look around and see the skeletons left behind
Every woman child and man does not deserve to die
Look and see its come to this this bitter twisted world
And look at how the innocent are screaming to be heard
He blames himself this doctor man for what he witnessed there
And that his wive had perished and his son but his life somehow was spared
He blames himself for living but i know it isnt him
Its this crazy world weve made for us this mixed up world of sin
As the bus pulls to the station i hand the man my card
'Look me up sometime' i say and then i must depart
I got a call the other day from a hospital nearby
They said the man had passed away and i began to cry
'your card was all we found' they said 'pried from the dead mans hand'
'We wondered if his family would come to claim this man'
Another tear sprung to my eye as i began to say
'He had no family but i will come by the end of day'
I buried him atop a hill so grassy green and bright
And hope that when his spirit soars hell find his loved ones in his flight

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 17, 2005

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