What Makes A Man...?
What propels a man to climb out,
by Tony Jolley
At 200 mph,
And 20,000 ft
Along a the burning wing of a bomber
Over enemy territory
Amidst flak and fighter fire
Holding nothing but a small extinguisher,
With neither harness nor hope of return?
Only 905192 Sergeant Norman Cyril Jackson knows.
What makes a man
Spend a day and a night in Nomansland
Reportedly as close at 25 yards from enemy defences
Raining fire at all but point blank range,
Repeatedly to-ing and fro-ing
Carrying the wounded to safety
And a future they'd given up all hope of having
Whilst caring nothing for his own wounds?
For most mortals that would have been more than enough...
But then they weren't with Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse later at Paaschendaele
To see him do it all over again.
From whence comes the courage
Of a child with Leukaemia
Knowing he will never see next week
Investing his last reserves of life in comforting the living? ............
Perhaps even parents don't know.
What makes a man...?
....God alone knows.