Mike Subritzky

Photograph ©Copyright ~ The Subritzky CollectionHOMECOMING

That first time he came home,
he spent the entire 14 days,
asleep on the couch with his jeans and boots on.
Lightly tanned woodsmen’s boots (I thought),
the kind rich folks with a couple of acres,
and a Remuera tractor[1] might wear…
and I was bloody angry as the couch was brand new.

No postal address while on his Big OE[2] ,
just the odd garbling phone call at some ungodly hour,
and the “Hi Dad I’m fine, I’m working in Manchester as a cook.”

The second time he came home,
I could immediately see that,
haunted look in his eyes,
and the loss of condition…
It was the photographs that did it for me,
especially the one of him dressed in helmet,
flak jacket, combat gear and sporting an M203[3] ,
guarding one of Saddam’s palaces.

The photographs were hauntingly beautiful,
and his boots were desert pattern combat boots…
(I hadn’t noticed).
He had just completed a 12 month Tour of Duty in Iraq
… and I never even knew.