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Poem by Richard Maslen:
Minor Hero

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Poem by Richard Maslen:
Minor Hero

Minor Hero

Remembering years ago
When all was taut and smiling.
Sepia photographs from India,
Smartly uniformed,
Brilliantined for posterity,
Mentioned in Despatches
Lifetimes ago.

He's fighting now the old enemy
Who comes for everyman.
Old age and uncertainty
Combined to bring him down,
Fetching him up
In this quiet world
Where heroes are made
Every day.
Silent struggles
Against the awkwardness
And unalleviated pain.

So now that smart airman
Has crashed
in the desert of the wards
His rescuers unaware
Of the minor hero in their midst

Survivor from the heat of India,
Immobilised by ill-fortune
In this artificial womb,
Amidst the detritus
of smaller wars
Whose end is conjecture,
Veiled and secret.

By Richard Maslen.
In Memoriam John Samuel Holden
1939 - 1945. died 20.1.1996

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