Casualties Of War

Young enough still to hold my fathers
hands, we walked at my pace.

passing stalls selling stencils, crumpled
comics, mystical rugs it was endless.

Father led me to a spot draped in
camouflaged sheets. A man behind

the badge littered table smiled. I saluted
him with the right hand he saluted with

the left. Looking at my father with a
silent question. The man smiled, lifted

an armless arm 'lost it on the fourth day
of D-Day' He looked down at his

sagging collection of silver and bronze
badges 'in honour of my arm' he sighed.

Father bought me a unspent bullet
polished and gleaming. Leading me

through the horde of people I asked
father why he had never showed me

Grandads medals. Father looked
out at the sea and squeezed my hand.

Tighter and more affectionalty than ever
before 'There are many types of a

casulties of war'. This did not make
sense for a long time. Until last week

when I stumbled upon a yellow aged
letter written by my Nan to her friend

Betty telling her that her husband had
met a 'French Whore' whilst he was

serving his country and he would not
be coming home again.

by Not Long Left

Comments (5)

So personable, Vincent, touching and well scored. -Tailor B.
One of those stories where truth is more painful than fiction...I like the succinct 'surprise' ending. It reminds that there were many civilian 'casualties' like your Nan after the War, when many marriages broke up, between men who had lived a heightened life of danger, bravery and romance, and their patient wives...poignant and effective, Vincent. Thank you for a glimpse of life's deeps.
Hi Vincent, I think it could go either way. It's a wonderful poem, no doubt about it. When you say ''There are many types of a casualty of war'' it makes me think he either died or became crazy due to the war. Yeah, your last bit does explain it and stops the readers mind from wondering. Adds a bitterness to it. Honestly, I like the wondering......... Sincerely, Mary
Seen your comment in the forum, Vincey (Jamesy?) . IMO the poem does need the final explanatory stanzas, although perhaps less literally and straightforwardly. It is, of course, a solid piece of writing as it is. Gina.
Nice poem. Well written. Thank you.