Posted in Passages

Monumental

My uncle came here with his father –
my grandfather
a quarter of a century before
to
the National War Memorial of an ally country.
He said,
every day at sundown ceremony –
simple and moving,
spiritual he said, hairs on the back of the neck.

Late afternoon, the bus driver announces
another coach has mechanical issues –
we will divert into the nation’s capital
and transfer the stranded passengers.
“Sorry about that – 75-minute layover necessary
refuelling and statutory meal break.”

I’d never been there – grab takeaway coffee and sandwich
and walked – no plan
internal compass spins on a meridian
and sunset
to the National War Memorial and eventide ceremony –
profound,
moving – hairs on the back of the neck.

The next morning my father called
telling me my uncle had died the day before.

Author:

Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.