a number – etched in my memory
thirty-nine …
hitchcockian steps that march to the past
in the roar of unending crescendos
distant shades
of old comrades – the brave and steadfast

when friends we respect are taken
tiny splinters
pierce through the soul – lodged there to remind
that death travels with us
who pays the toll and who’s left behind

here medics shed tears privately
smother grief
see people in pieces – who share greater pain
than ours – but those splinters are wired
inside us
for ever – ensuring our grief will remain

like a series of late night movies
run over …
aching self-doubt that never is done
thirty-nine men stepping bravely …
white stones
set safe in my heart – how many to come …

Hazel Hall
in response to: Captain Bruce Reeves, Head Ward Nurse, Role 3 Hospital

© Hazel Hall 2014, all rights reserved.

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