Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Woorde van Prisoners of War - David Kramer

THE ITALIANS BUILT THE ROAD
THAT BUMPED DOWN TO THE SEA
TO THE OLD BEACH HOUSE
NEAR THE RIVER MOUTH. IT WAS 1943
AND THEY CRACKED THE ROCKS WITH FIRE
AND THEY SWEATED AND THEY SWORE
AND THE SUN BEAT DOWN LIKE IN ITALY
ON THESE PRISONERS OF WAR

MY FATHER FOUGHT IN EGYPT

HE WAS TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OLD
WHERE THE DAYS WERE WHITE
AND HOT AS HELL AND THE NIGHTS
WERE BLACK AND COLD
WITH THE ALLIES THEY FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM
AGAINST ROMMEL AND THE AFRIKA KORP
UNTIL A BOMB EXPLODED & ALL HIS DREAMS
BECAME PRISONERS OF WAR

EVERY SUMMER WE WENT DOWN

TO THE HOUSE AT THE LAGOON
EVERY SUMMER I TURNED BROWN
AND PLAYED WAR GAMES IN THE DUNES
EVERY SUMMER OUR NEW REGIME
PASSED ANOTHER LAW
AS THE BOAT SAILED FOR ROBBEN ISLAND
WITH MORE PRISONERS OF WAR

I CAME BACK FROM ANGOLA. IT WAS 1975

MY HEART WAS HARD
AND MY MIND WAS SCARRED
I'D FORGOTTEN HOW TO CRY
WEARING CIVVIES FOR THE FIRST TIME
JUST TRYING TO BE ME
I WALKED THE ROAD THE ITALIANS BUILT
THAT LEADS DOWN TO THE SEA
AND THE QUESTION I WAS ASKING WAS:
WHAT WERE WE FIGHTING FOR?
CAUSE IN THE END WE HAD ALL BECOME
PRISONERS OF WAR

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