Happiness

It's easy to forget they’d fought a war:

his father drowned, half-brother bayoneted;

her kilted sibling captured at Dunkirk,

locked up for five long years. But yes they met

 

in uniform, lost half their friends, before

the normal world re-started when they wed:

mortgage; children; grinding office work -

all I suppose they wanted when they set

 

out as a couple.  We must have been a shock:

busting their rulebook; scornful of sacrifice;

mocking their past and their belief in ‘progress’;

 

too young, too smashed, too angry to unlock

their silence, or to understand the price

they’d paid for what they’d still call happiness.





First published in Dream Catcher 33, July 2016