Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Jingo lingo

This poem is in remembrance of my Dad, Walter Biggs, who was born on July 27th, 1912. He died on June 24th, 1978.

Jingo lingo

After he died we found his
service book -
Royal Air Force blue
Flight Sergeant,
               Class A release.
That meant he was too sick
                to repost.

India and Burma, 1942 to 1945:

                ‘Character and general conduct:
                very good throughout his service’.
                ‘Proficiency – exceptional’.

It was a ‘special discharge’:
                appendectomy, pneumonia.
Dysentery and malaria hit in the jungle,
hiding from the nips.

                He nearly died in the heart of it,
                that darkness,
until they remembered
to bring home the forgotten troops.

Three months in hospital.
He never spoke about it all.
No complaints.

So wasted, so thin,
even his own mother
                saw a stranger at her door.