Many eyes scanned wartime skies for German
Bombers on Easter Monday, 1942,
Allotment families forgot Sunday sermons
Heard in Pear Tree Baptist packed pews.
Doris was next door, sharing gossip and news,
husband minding Ron, younger son;
teenage Alan, cycled through rural views
Pushing roadster pedals, having fun.
Frank, the father, worked in Loco foundry
In spare spare time sung, played violin,
Then something snapped, boundaries
wrongly crossed – caused that loner to sin.
ill in bed, young Ron rested, bone-weary,
Whistling wireless boomed below
Frank depressed, easily teary
paced kitchen floor, to and fro –
then mounted the stairs with resolve,
son’s illness he could no longer endure,
With warped sense of justice, absolved
His evil action, a quick death the only cure.
Frank squeezed Ron’s throat tightly,
Young son thrashed, left this life;
After dreadful deed was Frank contrite?
What would he say to returning wife?
Note on dead boy’s bedroom door
“Do not enter – call the police” –
Child corpse within, angels angrily roared,
God’s enemy, Satan, plundered all peace.
Later, on a canal bank Frank stood
Shivering, wrongly thought God-forsaken.
It’s never too late to make good
selfish actions rashly taken.
Instead, he tied the slip-knot rope
to flat iron, then tested noose;
Evil spirits erased faint hope
Doubt dismissed any trace of truce.
Did he linger before he leapt?
Did any one witness awful event?
Were late-repentant tears wept?
Did fish eyes follow his final descent?
A policeman’s torch later sighted
Frank’s floating Trilby hat, mortality marker;
After inquest, and joint funeral were expedited,
headlines reported drama so dark.
No scripture hope on shared gravestone,
date deception was deliberate,
I raged at discreet grave, refused to condone,
Records needed to be set straight.
A new headstone got commissioned
My suicidal grandmother’s name included
Once I got my father’s permission
All truth was stated, nothing excluded.