The scent of spring lay in the air and sun’s rays soaked the lawn,
inviting me to … rise my son! Come greet another dawn!
Already townsfolk bustled by, I bid them, “How’d you do!”
Then sat upon my fav’rite bench with clothes still wet from dew.
Three long and lonely nights I’d camped there in the city park,
though only slept spasmodic’ly, as somewhere from the dark
the scream of sirens echoed, making statements through the night;
it’s murder, theft and overdose! The end of some soul’s fight!
The lure of lights and city life, enticed me, filled my head,
with notions of new freedoms … for the bush was surely dead.
So boring, so predictable, the same old crowd of friends
with life styles going nowhere and their futures down dead ends.
And that was just three months ago and now it’s come to this,
my savings gone, no sign of work and most of all I miss
the mum I took for granted, who was always there for me,
but selfish desperation made these facets hard to see.
‘Twas then I glimpsed the presence of a woman drawing near
which commanded my attention for her features laid so clear
a certain sense of emptiness, so etched upon her face
and watched her tie the bouquets to the bench with yellow lace.
My presence of no consequence I heard her gently say,
“How are you John and you too Mark ’tis such a lovely day?
I miss you two, you both know that; this year has gone so fast.
I’m doing rather nicely John; I’ve found a flat at last.
The boys from down the R.S. L. … your mates from Vietnam …
had heard you’d lost the battle love and feared I’d come to harm.
So found a flat, it’s lovely John, and not too far from town
and when I need a few things love, I don’t mind walking down.
I understood your trauma dear, the torments of your mind
and how you fought the phantoms of that war you left behind.
The demon drink, the vagrancy, ’til fin’ly in the end
you lost your fight on this park bench … alone, without a friend.
Young Mark was only just sixteen and could not understand
the hand life had dealt out to him and often would demand
an explanation why his Dad was no part of his life …
I lost him John; he hit the streets where heroin was rife.
For weeks I searched the streets in vain, ’til finally I read,
some kids were dealing in the park, or so the paper said.
Then just as you found peace of mind one dark and lonely night
they found our Mark upon this bench. He too had lost the fight.”
At that she rose, then paused a bit, and said “Adieu my men
until this time next year my loves, when we will meet ag’en.”
Then took a step, but paused again, to look me in the eye.
Her final words. “Go home my son. You’re much too young to die.
From the Book You’re Joking – Milk in Billy Tea.
Many of us can probably relate to the words above, as aspects of the story may have touched our own personal lives. I know they have mine and many of my friends. I look forward to the day when the words of Revelation 21: 4 and 5 become a reality on this earth. ‘And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.’