victoria  cross
dramatic story poem by    keith  o'connor
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To those who suffered this cruel unjust act this poem is humbly dedicated.
 this dramatic story poem is no. six in a series of seven  
Drama 6of 7 previous next
 victoria cross 

gave me the victoria cross 
didn't think I was a hero 
a hero was someone else 
not me 

conspicuous gallantry 
under enemy fire 
risked his life to save others 
changed the course of the attack 
turned defeat into victory 
they said 

war did it 
war had a mind of its own 
it made me a hero 
it could have made me a coward 
I think it made me both 
a hero and a coward 

they pinned - the Victoria Cross 
on me  - me of all people 
my parents were proud 
my regiment was proud 
my government was proud 
I deserved it they said 

it was lady luck 
that smiled on me that day 
I lived  - many of my friends died 
I can still see their torn bodies 
bodies their mothers never saw 
an arm here 
a leg there 
a head 
my friends head 
laying in the mud 
no body 
a curtain of  tears 
blinds me 
I have not time for tears 
"get moving" 
"get up that hill" 
"look out" 
"that fucken shell got them"  

we were born in the same hospital 
my friend and I 
in quiet Victoria 
we grew up together 
I never thought 
we would not 
grow old together 

decades have passed 
since the war 
and still  -   my friend 
in my mind's eye 
happy  -  smiling  -  joking 
then  - my last memory of him 
his head  -  in the mud 
and I cry again 
I have time now 
I cry alone in the night 
for my friend 

they came for me in the night 
they took my old mother 
they took my old father 
they took my wife 
they took my son 
they took my daughter 
they took me 

by the power of the 
war measures act 
your property will be seized 
your possessions will be seized 
your savings will be seized 

your Canadian citizenship 
is revoked 
your Victoria Cross 
awarded by the Canadian government 
will not be considered as contributing 
to special treatment 
you may feel deserving of 
you will take only what you can carry 
you will be interred in a camp 
for the remainder of the war 
at the discretion 
of the Canadian Government 
exercising the will of the Canadian people 
you who have the face of the enemy 
will be deported 
at wars end  from 
Canada the country of your birth 
to the country of the enemy 

Keith O'Connor 
2001   Dec  31 
Ottawa Canada 

 Copyright © 

this dramatic story poem is no. six in a series of seven  
Drama 6of 7 previous next
this poem is based upon the experiences of  
Masumi Mitsui  hero of Vimy Ridge WWI. 
as reported in the toronto star 1989 aug 31 
editorial sepcial section
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