“The letter ended simply with goodbye”. Many of our core public services face real danger when they go to work. The emotions and actions of people in these jobs are often in an entirely different place. People in organisations use a version of the phrase, ‘put your flack jacket on and get in there’ or ‘you’ll need your flack jacket for this meeting’. Least we forget when some people go to work there is no euphemism in the expression there is a reality to their need for proaction. This poet writes of a time when he was employed in the Royal Navy.
Losing a Friend
I lost my best friend many years ago!
Battle worn and weary he never let it show.
The night before he died, he said to me,
I’m not going home this time, just wait and see.
I called him a drunken fool and smiled.
A day later I saw his body, lifeless and defiled.
I held a letter, which he wrote in my hand,
I Started to read and tried to understand!
With tears burning my eyes, this is what I read…
My Dear, if you’re reading this letter, then I am dead!
Please don’t cry for me, for I did my best!
I fought hard in battle, now I’m ready to rest.
Tell my boy, daddy loved him, he was proud of his son,
That I died wearing my badge that read “dad your number one”.
Look after mum, comfort her now I am gone.
She will need you there, see that she can carry on.
Toast my life with all of my friends.
My life is over make sure, yours never ends.
For you, my love, it’s you that got me through.
Every time we talked, every letter which said “I love you”
Move on but Never forget the life that we shared.
Care for another but Never forget how much I cared.
Live your life well and I will meet you again at heavens gate
But don’t meet me too soon, don’t worry I will wait.
So, goodbye, mother, son, my darling wife.
Do not remember my death, but celebrate my life.
For now, it’s over for me but please don’t cry…
The letter ended simply with “goodbye”
I miss my friend everyday, the silly smile and things he’d say.
I miss his company and comfort when I lost my way.
I hate the way he was taken and I wasn’t there.
I hate the way how much it hurts that I still care.
I still wish it was me that was taken on that day.
I still have these nightmares no matter how hard I pray.
No one can understand the pain, you see
For my friend died after taking a bullet to save me.
In battle he died, not for his country but for my life.
I’m the reason he orphaned his son and widowed his wife.
I know that my friend is waiting for me.
Soon I will join him and from pain set me free.
More people are writing and thinking about work based poetry. Does this poem make you think of anything? Send your thoughts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do send a poem you’ve written or one you like and we’ll share it with other OP readers.
This poem is narrated by Lorraine Ansell, a British female voiceover professional.
Image: Guernica, Picasso, 1937, Oil on canvas
“Guernica is a mural-sized oil painting on canvas by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso completed by June 1937. The painting, which uses a palette of gray, black, and white, is known as one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history. Standing at 11 feet tall and 25.6 feet wide, the large mural shows the suffering of people, animals, and buildings wrenched by violence and chaos.
The painting is believed to be a response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country village in northern Spain, by German and Italian warplanes at the request of the Spanish Nationalists. Upon completion, Guernica was displayed around the world in a brief tour, becoming famous and widely acclaimed, and believed to have helped bring worldwide attention to the Spanish Civil War.” (Wikipedia, 14th May 2015)