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Quiet. (photo of my dad, for Paula)

Photo of my dad,

black & white,

In Nissen Hut

During his National Service in the 50’s.

 

Looking straight to the camera,

Unblinking,

Unusual for him who always seemed off-centre,

on the periphery;

 

From the light

I assume it was evening,

Although, inside those places,

there was likely never was much illumination.

 

Two stripes on his shoulder,

I don’t know the meaning*,

nor the significance,

nor the year.

 

Thick hair,

slicked-back,

Pen in hand,

he was always an adroit, meticulous writer.

 

And, piles of papers to his left and right

and in front;

I can’t imagine their subject matter,

for the stories he related were few.

 

The only two,

I heard more than once

Was his experience of jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet (fear)

and the other,

Taking a fellow soldier

From the barracks, who for whatever misdemeanour was in handcuffs,

to the synagogue for New Year prayers. (Dad un-cuffed him)

 

Seems timely

Given there is only a fortnight to go until

Rosh Hashanah

Then, Yom Kippur.

 

* Corporal

 

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