Tuesday, November 08, 2011


The Tehran Conference,
Lend Lease,
Three men looking very pleased
With themselves, comfortably
Overweight, preening
For the cameras,
The Bulldog, The Bear , The Cat
Who filched the cream.
Three strokes of the pen.
The dismemberment of a continent
Begins, production lines speed up,
Convoys head north,
Corridors open up
To the south.

The camp gates are open.

Time to barter,
A good coat for the officer’s wife,
A precious tin of milk
For her baby daughter
Buy a travel warrant south
Towards the Caspian’s gleaming water.

Hour after hour, the trains roll,
Sweltering by day,
Shivering by night.
The journey takes its toll,
High fever, muscles that waste away.

Queuing on the quayside,
Barely able to stand,
Knowing the ship sails
On the next high tide
And only those who can climb
The steep gangplank
Will sail, this or any other time.

Step by step,
Limbs, head screaming,
She dragged herself,
Towards the blue sky,
Found herself on deck,
Stared around delirious, or dreaming.

1 comment:

  1. Albert4:20 PM

    Lynda and I have stopped to chat to your mother on a few occasions in Ponty and Neath and we have never suspected how traumatic her early life was. I guess not many do. This is a tale well worth the telling and I am finding it truly fascinating and, much to my shame, educational. As you have probably guessed by now poetry is not usually my thing but I am finding that I really like the way you are telling this story and I keep checking to see if there is another instalment.