This picture was taken by my wonderful Father in the 60s, when he was in the RAF and we were stationed abroad for a while. The poem says the rest.
We lost you a long time ago
When battle lines were drawn.
Where were you when the bitter fight
Began and we were torn
Apart, our feet on different ground,
No path for us to tread
No hands to hold; no resting place,
At night a different bed.
The battle raged, and over what?
Some land to call our own,
A place for us to settle in,
Rich earth, where seeds are sown
For healthy growth, for sense of self,
To harvest and to feed,
We fought each other, long and hard,
A basic human need
So disregarded; set aside
As you flew high above,
Pursuing clouds and dropping gifts
Of laughter and of love.
My Father how I love you now,
And how I always will
Your flights of fancy sugar sweet –
The coating on the pill.
She swallowed it, we swallowed it,
The empty, lonely taste
A life of anger, bitterness,
Of compromise – a waste.
The darkened road, the blackened map
The signposts painted out
You navigated in the sky
We’d blame, and cry and shout.
And who to blame? Not you, not you,
You loved and laughed and gave
Your heart to us, from high up there,
But not enough to save
Us from the scratching, clawing rage
Born of the need to be
Something, someone – and have a home
I fought her; she fought me.
Where were you, as they flew so high,
Emitting coloured streams
Of smoke, so carefree, spinning round
Up high, your cloudless dreams
Where are you now? Still flying high?
Or sitting very close
To her, one place, one time, one choice,
Sit still. Give her her voice.