A Sense Of Survival
Was he still surprised by soft sheets, the accident
of waking every morning? Was it unexamined
or without words, confronted every day?
I see now, there was a silent place,
where he knew as he signed a letter,
contract or cheque, his name wasn’t carved
in grey granite; when steel had splintered,
it had wedged in elbow and legs, not the brain.
Was it sweet, or did he taste the acid? We were kept
well out of it — hedged around with easy talk
of comradeship, courage, careless hatred.
So we threw it back at him, condescending
to supposed indifference, scornful
of his lack of curiosity. But we were
wrong; and now that place is impossible
to find. Only understand it must have been there:
and it was sore, whatever else it might have been.
by Ray Templeton