He is the boy with a wooden toy
and as now is never then,
he fashioned me as the man you see
and lives with me in the memory
that we visit again and again,
I don’t think how he is with me now
as we smoke in a tinker’s hollow,
as we wave and climb from the grasp of time
to have no sense for the morrow,
had lots of fun with a flying bomb
when the the search-lights combed the sky
’til the blasted fact of the broken glass
left uncle Jack with one eye!
What rumbled above left hope below
when sirens would wain and wax,
when hate fell in the dead of night
while lovers laid down on their backs,
and through it all as we recall
we shook at the apple – trees
and bruised we were as the windfall there
when the vicar was down on his knees,
when father came home with a shoulder roll
defending the northern seas,
to remember how he returned no more
from fighting a mad man’s disease,
how our world was large and endless
as we straddled a farmer’s mare
when we both would ride to the other side
where time has no purchase there;
to feel goodbye with the past inside
is a song of comfort and pain,
as I leave the boy with a wooden toy
to depart and return again.
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