This week's prompt at Poetry Jaam is fathers and/or fatherhood.
In peace time he'd made golf clubs, but in war
the hands that had released those club heads from
incarceration in their virgin blocks of wood
made play with aircraft engines and the like,
the shot-up wrecks that made it home each night.
He loved the service life, the camaraderie,
the working with his hands and intellect.
Attestably, he had a flair for it,
though what I've grasped since then,
but did not at the time, were his heroic
efforts to get home. The shortest pass,
just hours at times, would see him leaving camp.
Towns, cities, countryside in chaos. Blackout.
Air raids. Little likelihood of trains or buses -
which in any case would take too long.
He'd thumb a lift. Today it might prove difficult
to make the journeys he made in the time,
but then it must have seemed impossible.
And always there would be the final worry:
getting back. He'd risk so much, sometimes
for just an hour or two. I guess he died
not realising that I knew
how much we'd meant to him.
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