Anthony W. Pahl


After more than thirty years
the cell house door is now unlocked
And the weapons of the armed guards
are unloaded and uncocked.

The marks scratched in the red mud floor
are no longer sharp and clear;
The bamboo cage is rotting
and huge rats no longer feared.

Steel manacles on wrists and ankles
are long corroded by brown rust,
And dreams of freedom’s flavour hide
under blankets of timeless dust.

This loved and loving human
who never made it home from War
Lived and died with a cross marked name
inscribed upon a Wall.

For all time past and present,
and for all time yet unborn
Cries of this forgotten soul will sound
in those who dare to mourn.

Submitted for the June 2002 IWVPA Club Theme Project, “Prisoner of War