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.
Makes me think that ...
"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 protection. This poet writes of a time when he was employed in the Royal Navy.
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