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Haworth Hodgkinson

Haworth Hodgkinson

Poetry 2007–2017

Poetry 2001–2006

Poetry 1996–2000

Poetry 1982–1995


© Haworth Hodgkinson 2006–2017


Silence

Haworth Hodgkinson

 

My mother shows me a photograph
that I've never seen before.
It shows her father – my grandfather –
in his First World War uniform,
a silence on his face.

This silence, she tells me,
was his norm.

Whatever had happened to him
in the trenches
he could never speak about,
but much more than his left shoulder
had been damaged.

And only now, after all these years,
my mother explains why,
when First World War footage
comes on the television,
she always has to turn away
or leave the room.

She is afraid that if she watches
she will recognise her father
in the trenches,
see what happened to him,
and understand the source
of that terrible silence.

 


Written 2011

Published in Poems for Armistice, Extra Edition, 2012
(Malfranteaux Concepts)
and in Armistice 2014, 2014
(Malfranteaux Concepts)

Silence


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