John-Ward Leighton

YOU CAN’T GET TO THERE FROM HERE

The Second World War in color
but then it was always in color for me.
I was not filming I was only living
on the news from the front
and absent heroes.
A young sister was born
nine years my junior
and now we were three.
I was the oldest
and with the end of the war in Europe
we were a family again.
Dad, who had been badly injured,
and released from the army
recovered in a veteran’s hospital
while my mother struggled along
awaiting Dad’s pension which
was with held up because of
an income tax form my father
had failed to fill out.
My brother joined us in August
after VJ day and we started school
at North Ward School.

It seems so long ago
and I’m watching films
about how the Americans
single-handedly won the war.
They seem to be constantly re writing history
like some Hollywood film they can’t seem
to get right.
You begin to feel that all Americans
have brown eyes from all the bullshit
they peddle.
I sometimes think they wouldn’t recognize
the truth if it crept up and kicked them in the shins.
I would love to set them straight
but,
you can’t get to there from here.