A Hundred Gourds 2:1 December 2012
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page 11  

Patricia Prime - New Zealand

Home from the Front

air-raid shelter
sharing their rations

One of my first memories is of my dad in uniform as he turned the corner of our street waving goodbye. Mum started crying when she saw he had left the sugar ration she’d saved for him on the kitchen table. We didn’t see him again until I was five. He returned from Germany shouldering a kit-bag laden with presents: wax dolls for me and my sisters, a Mercedes replica for my brother, a china teapot for mum. But we didn’t recognize him: my brother was too scared to accept a gift from a stranger, I called him “soldier-man” and my youngest two sisters clung crying to mum’s skirt. It was only my eldest sister who took his hand and said, “Hello, dad.”

years have passed
I still see your face
catch the sobs


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