Two Minutes

by | Mar 16, 2015 | Poetry | 0 comments

The time it took me to bleed to death at Vimy.
How long I had to hold my comrade while he died on Juno.
The time for my compartment to fill with water as we sank in the Atlantic.
How long my plane could glide before impact over Korea.
Amputation time for my leg in Vietnam.
How long the medic could keep up the pretence that I was going to be ok in the Falklands.
The time it took my tank to burn out in the Gulf.
How long before I realised I’d hit the wrong target in any war, any time.

Two minutes
The time you save in rush hour because I didn’t nip in front of you.
The time not needed to wipe the beer off your shirt as I’m not crowding the pub, knocking your arm.
How long it takes to say your wedding vows.
The time need to buy popcorn at the cinema.
The reduction in the line-up at the bank because I didn’t get there first.
How long you didn’t spent fizzing because I’m not there to laugh at your striker for missing the penalty.
How long your daughter takes to get tired of being pushed on the swing.
The time you get to hold your grandchild before grandma wants a turn.

Two minutes
The time it takes on Nov 11 to remember the first, without which you couldn’t enjoy the second.

On 7 November 1919 the King issued a proclamation asking

“That at the hour when the Armistice came into force, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, there may be, for the brief space of two minutes, a complete suspension of all our normal activities.
All locomotion should cease so that in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead”.


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