A child wonders why God let his father die.


The breeze took his white surplice,
Waved it like a girl's frock,
Whistled through his greying hair
And touched the nation's flag
Draped on a young man's coffin
Polished to beauty by a craftsman's hand
And waiting in the silence by a grave.

The flag rippled like flags might
When a cold wind from nowhere touches them,
The small crowd, mother's tears and father's grief,
Nod at words that never should be said,
And the child, tousle-headed boy,
Wonders in the wisdom of his youth
Why the God the surplice-man whispers of
And the all the magic at his command
Let the damned thing happen.

Let his daddy die, let his blood leak out,
Let his flesh get mangled like flesh is
When bullets tear through it,
Let the tall soldiers bear the coffin
Slowly like they did as if death is slow
When he knows how quick it came,
Why didn't that spirit in the sky
Lean down like spirits can
And catch the bullet in his teeth,
His magic teeth like gods have…

© Peter Rogerson 10.12.07

Submitted: July 14, 2009

© Copyright 2023 Peter Rogerson. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:



Ah, really moving Peter. I always thought that the so-called naive and silly questions that a child asks like "why does God let bad things happen" are actually the most profound and unanswerable.

Very touching, and very real. Big LIKE IT from me.

Tue, July 14th, 2009 2:13pm


Thanks Baz. Your comments are really appreciated.

Tue, July 14th, 2009 7:14am


I agree with Baz, this was a really good poem with lots of imagery. Very powerful piece. If metre and rhyme played a part in its construction it may have suffered. Told in the matter-of-fact format that you did really gave it what it needed. Great job.

Sat, August 22nd, 2009 6:14pm


I like to use any form of poetry and let the content dictate which.

Sun, August 30th, 2009 6:14am

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