I can never know the dread of
those who heard cut out doodle-bug;
the sadness those who saw the wheel
of bicycle slow turn atop
the bomb-site, handlebars mark of
grave under metal, dust and brick.
Mother, first time blitz siren heard
was wearing treat, her brand new dress;
on pavement she newspaper spread
and then lay down, air-raid prepared.
Father dug at The Rookeries
within the sound of Biggin Hill
when buried deep, just head revealed;
he lived because was rescued last.
I cannot know; they little spoke
of despairs, agonies and loss.
But rocket stillness, spinning wheel,
newsprint, clean dress, and soil to neck;
these they told and tales haunted me.
Used by permission of the author.