Many years ago I was searching the charity shops for a 1930s suitcase, for a child who was studying Evacuation at school.
I was lucky enough to find one, and went home very happy.
I had looked inside, briefly, in the shop, but once I was able to examine my purchase thoroughly I found a crumpled piece of brown paper with a poem written on it.
The writing is not very clear,but there was a rough plan of the poem on the back, and I was able to decipher it.
I have kept it ever since, because it touched me.
I felt connected with the writer and could share his pain.
He was feeling lost and guilty.
Lost, because his faithful friend was dead; guilty,because he had been responsible for his death.
Anyone who has had to make the same choice will know how he felt.
He wrote of his loneliness,his love for the dog who had been his companion for so many years, who had welcomed him home and cheered his evening hours.
This is not perhaps the most elegant poem in the world, but it is written from the heart,and I shall always keep it safe.
I cannot read it without thinking of this man,mourning his dead friend and facing lonely days.
In case you have problems deciphering the poem, I have written it below the picture.
O spirit gay and bold,
If your tongue only could unfold
The joys and sorrows,hopes and woes,
That your great heart surely knows!
For your house was wearing low
And over your eyes were drawn the blinds
The decision was mine to take alone,
But the lance that pierced you reached my bone,
And friend, I'll not be far behind!
Close up at the rear!