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