The hand of hope, soft and supple, when a child –

Playing, chasing, shouting, running wild.

With soccer ball at foot or football in his hand –

Nothing on his mind except the land

Of hope and victory, of kicking winning goal.

No-one knew for whom the bell would toll.

No-one that it would toll for he –

He in high spirits, jovial, delighted.

 

The finger, taken from the knuckle-bone – extended.

The axe – unrivalled injury – not mended.

And to ne’er again wear the ring that shone

On the finger, cut, foregone. From now on

He’d suffer sympathy from those unknowing

Of his diligence and dedication. Glowing

In him, in only him – the reason why

His life be spent committed, ne’er be ended.

 

The onset of the ravages he’d find had led

Him to a place with nurtured vines.

A base that he described as ‘Pleasant Nest’ –

He loved it always. A place from which to rest

His wavering, his quivering. His hand

Would find safe haven in familiar land –

Of ardour, fondness, where sweethearts would impart

A cherished memory – besotted from the start.

Published by Owen Tilley