A poem a day keeps the cobwebs off my keyboard.
|It was a time when everyone had a station -
Some to serve on foreign soil,
Some to stay at home and toil,
To till the earth, and feed a nation.
And so were two brothers set their tasks,
One brother fought with a firearm,
The other ploughed upon the farm,
Each did what his country asked.
I never thought less of your sacrifice,
Of becoming the man at a tender age,
While around the world war did rage.
For you, the burden of your family sufficed.
But still, when you showed me the photograph,
Of your brother standing tall at attention,
While the Queen made her inspection,
There was only pride for him, who fought on your behalf.
I looked at that photograph again today,
Of the uncle that I barely knew,
Who went to war, instead of you,
And knowing that you did your duty, too,
Understand that I mean it when I say,
I am proud of both of you.
* My father’s family had a farm in Canada. His older brother went into the military, and my father, who was younger and had severe asthma, stayed at home to run the farm and care for their widowed mother. Among my father’s prized possessions is a photograph of then Queen Elizabeth (the wife of King George VI) reviewing the troops. His brother is prominent in the photo as the Queen approaches.