Just The Touch Of My Pale Pink Hand

The controversy of the honours list this year, and the comment by someone that their father had received a lesser ‘gong’ for having fought for King and Country than had an interior designer, prompted me to bring my poem about my father into the light of day…










I remember the day.

(It is a day no-one can forget.)


Strands of golden web abound,

and silver ties here with there.

There is a settling of old bones –

yet not as old as might have been –

the days, scythed away, silently.


The rouge has drained from the skin;

has dripped relentlessly

from the open wound of disease.

And even though this blight was there

the spirit still maintained your life.


Now, pallid grey-blueish tones

suck my eyes to see him

(He with his lowered jaw, and lids)

and I see the face of the Christ

hung from the cross – elongated.


Violet heralds the advent

of his life’s certain moment –

and though I do not want its touch

to come upon my dying dad,

I wish it not to more delay.


The cold blue mist of silence

descends on the Friday ward.

The air is stilled and dust motes stay

suspended, as is life itself.

Now his occult breath is easy.


Colours mist my tearful eyes,

selfish tears of my sorrow

for too much time spent divided –

not wept for him who gave me life –

he is beyond the need of them.


Britain never gave him gold

for inhaling its wartime dust

making weapons for the devil.

No medal to pin on his chest –

there is…

…just the touch of my pale-pink hand.


And my tears – which persist after all these years.


© griffonner 2023
UKA Editor's Pick!
Views: 1116
critique and comments welcome.
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Speechlessly good!


The things our forefathers did for King and Country. A fine tribute to your father and so many of those like him.


Simply a masterpiece in my opinion. One for my favs plus the anthology when it gets going again. Every line full of angst and meaning, too many to pick out. It brought tears as all great poetry tends to do. I resonated with the hour of loss, when the frailty and breath gives way to the unmistakeable touch of death. So dreaded but also so longed for..setting up a dichotomy in the mind. When the real end comes, it is unmistakeable. We are aware we are in the presence of something otherworldly and there is no going back. I felt… Read more »

Thank you for your reply Allen. *hugs* The wars left so many suffering for many years. Your poor dad. It literally makes my blood boil at the treatment meted out to him and those poor souls like him. Disgusting does not begin to cover it. There was someone here who wrote a poem once about the damage done to his grandfather’s lungs from gas during WW1. As a child, the home he lived in, was suffused with misery and suffering that was never spoken about but had a significant effect on him as a very young boy. So the damage… Read more »

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