Anthony W. Pahl OAM


Silent were the words he spoke, he screamed them every night
When he travelled back to Vietnam and fought the eternal fight
But with the breaking of the dawn that never failed to come
He suffered in the knowledge that he was not the only one

He knew how to laugh and how to love but seldom did he cry
Only those who knew him realised each moment that went by
That the mates he knew were still alive in his heart and in his head
And that he suffered knowing it should have been him instead

But he found great joy and comfort with a lady who loved him
She never judged or measured him for his failing or his sin
Her children and their children adopted and loved him too
And he resided in a world where he, as a human being grew

Wounded body and spirit rallied to be reborn in a life of worth
He made few friends but those who knew and witnessed his rebirth
Knew a man of goodness suffused with the strain and stain of war:
Honour, trust and steadfastness: these were the badges that he wore

No need to emphasise the things we shared when we were young and raw
We spoke with truth and understanding of the pain and evil that we saw
He was a bloke I knew and loved because we both bathed in battle’s bath
Our friendship will endure and we’ll meet again on the Bridge of Heroes path

Author’s Note: For my friend, brother, and brother-in-law, David Anthony Scott