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darkest days

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you were more than just a soldier
you were a lover and a son
so I wonder if you knew how to fight
or did a fighter you become
did you know you were a hero
did you ever think you won
did you smile or shed a tear
when they played your victory song

they say failures made are lessons learned
yet some failures last forever
like the darkest days in the blackest nights
were your dreams unspoken terrors
did you cling to those that loved you
could you live your life for pleasure
did you long to see your girl again
did you climb dark stairs together

those dreadful days we remember still
and the echoes they create
did you think no one would save you
know not every man escaped
did you think about the fallen
did their faces scream in pain
were they waiting for their life to start
could yours ever be the same

more than 80 years have passed us by
since you signed up for that war
yet I wonder what you'd think right now
wonder what they're fighting for
did you think there'd be a brave new world
when the boats pulled up on shore
to take you home to family
and the life you had before

a green howard to your country
a sergeant to your men
but to those that really knew you
were you simply known as John
of course I wish that I had known you
maybe spent some time alone
held the medals they awarded you
for the bravery you had shown

I'll never know what happened
in those fateful weeks in spring
did you think about the time you lost
all those fragile little things
now all I have is your photograph
and Nanna's wedding ring
your certificate hanging on the wall
and the reminder that it brings

June 2022

For Lance Sergeant John Yarrow ..
Grandad John. Unit 7 Green Howards.
Born 1911 - Died 1953. Fought at Dunkirk
May and June 1940. Awarded the Distinguished
Conduct Medal for exceptional bravery June

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