Pim Claridge

Life in the Scottish Borders, one stanza at a time


He looked so handsome in the sun,
grey eyes half closed against the glare.
The velvet lawn he loved to mow
lay smooth beneath his shining shoes,
such shining shoes, we bent to see
our distorted faces in the toes!

The khaki uniform made him strange,
a quiet man we didn’t know
with worry written on his face,
deep shadows in his eyes.
We danced excitedly, touching
buckles, buttons, belt and badge,
but he stood straight, and silent.

The sun still shone, the lawn still green,
there were strawberries for tea,
but Dad was gone, we knew not where.
At night we’d hear great bombers roar
across the stars, beyond the moon,
and when they’d passed,
in the silence of the summer's night,
we’d hear our mother weep.