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 –
…just the touch of my pale-pink hand.
And my tears – which persist after all these years.