Thursday, November 13, 2008

195. Tears.

I receive a magazine from a limited publication in the United Kingdom called 'The Evacuee', written by and for the British children who were evacuated from dangerous areas in World War Two. I was one of them.

One contribution in the latest issue was the following story. I thought it worth re-telling.
(The pilot is a model.)


We celebrated the Armistice not very long ago;
The end of World War One which brought such suffering and woe.
And World War Two was added and some other wars beside,
And we mourned the poor young soldiers who so bravely fought and died.
'Our' men, 'our' soldiers, 'our' deceased were rightly celebrated.
But mine's a rather different take, and very much belated.
He was a German pilot, programmed to cause harm.
He was shot down by a Spitfire and he landed on a farm.
By a miracle he walked out of the wreckage of his plane,
Knowing he'd be captured but could live to fight again.
Then he saw his plane had landed on a farmer and his wife.
He was spared, but, in the crash, his plane had taken life.
Then, horror upon horrors, he saw a child was there!
Also dead! You'd think a German wouldn't even care!
You'd think he'd quickly run and hide, escaping while he could, 
Down in a ditch, or up a tree, or deep in a nearby wood.
For Germans, as we all were told, were nasty, murderous brutes,
Who strutted round intent on war in frightening Nazi boots.
How was it, then, that when they came to carry him away,
He was sobbing like a baby and everyone heard him say
'I've killed a child! I've killed a child! It's more than I can bear!'
And, for a moment, very moved, they left him weeping there.
Later, in the papers, expressing great surprise,
The headline said
 'Amazing! A German pilot cries!'
Yet it wasn't so amazing. It was one thing making war;
After all a lot of soldiers had been making it before.
Way up in the sky war was a story to be told
And Pilots were delighted to be seen as brave and bold.
But he saw a little body lying shattered by his side!
He was a human-being and a little child had died.
Our enemy? No, just a man and not ashamed to be
An ordinary example of our shared humanity.


Mari Meehan said...

Beautiful. It brings to mind all the children who have been killed in the unGOdly conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. No wonder our returning soldiers have so many mental problems!

Anonymous said...

Stopped by for a visit... your blog is lovely... hope you are well...



Unknown said...

Lovely sentiments thank you

Kat said...

I had actually read this poem yesterday.... but wanted to watch
a night movie they screened on WW2, in History Channel.

The invasion and destruction in Britain was devastating. I saw the
small films and pictures, they showed open mouthed..!!! The
contribution of the RAF in keeping the stokkers at bay.

the determined spirit of the people, which was also one major
reason for winning that war.

Saw people being evacuated...

and was thinking that you've seen all these and also been part of

I saw those years yesterday so intently, because of your poem..!!!!

Was moved.