Poetry Porch: Poetry


If I take the wings of the morning
by Ruth Arnison

        In memoriam Robert Weir Herron

Ears deaf to the pulpit throbbing voice, my holiday eyes
would wander across the behatted congregation
and settle on my uncle.

Parachute harness in hand, flying helmet unstrapped,
eyes searching skywards, and soaring above,
the bomber that let them down.

Higher still the Scottish and New Zealand shields, positioned
too late to protect him or his crew. At twenty-three,
life terminated mid-flight.

His name forever etched on a collective grave,
Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. At ten,
I resented the war.

It left a fireside sadness flickering
through my Grandmother’s stories. Stained glass
his memorial, stains forever on her heart.

“If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Thy Hand lead me.” Psalm 139: 9-10.

A memorial window was erected in Knox Church, Dunedin, New Zealand, by my grandparents, Very Rev. D.C. Herron and Mrs. Herron, in memory of my Uncle Robert Weir Herron who lost his life in action with the Royal New Zealand Air Force on 27th April 1944.

Copyright © 2017 by Ruth Arnison.