Monday, 4 November 2013

For Jack Sadler - Afghanistan, 4th December 2007, Aged 21

FOR JACK SADLER - GUILTY                         by P R Ford, November 2013

Do you feel guilty for being alive?
For seeing a day which he did not see?
For feeling the chill of Autumn’s breath
As the raucous groans of rooks in the tree
Echo across barren fields, yet not
Bursting through air like a rifle shot?

Do you feel guilty for growing old?
Or welcome the ache of the swollen thumb
Fore-running the pain? – Sweet agony looms,
Not sudden, like flesh torn open and raw,
Nor lethal as chemicals which suddenly blow -
But slow and insidious. - He will not know.

His aging is there on memorial stone
Which weathers and yellows as memory fades.
His smile, cut off, will not lose its shape
As the photo curls or the image gapes.
Don’t cut it! Enhance it, love and embrace
His life, his youth, his darling face –
Oh yes! I feel guilty.