In a world that has, at last, become widely aware of the longer term effects of trauma on many who have closely experienced the violence of war, there is need, also, to acknowledge those who have been exposed but have coped well, perhaps through having the benefit of many kinds of support, including much which is either arcane, in-house or just insightful reflection over many years. In this vein the author offers the following poem in tribute to those who continue to manage well. For the younger reader, read on - you will not always be young!

Ron Boxall


Advancing age short memory dulls,
From early thoughts it nothing culls;
Clear are the days when we were young —
Airing our thoughts with carefree tongue!

Eager runners in life’s sweet race,
How loved we then a quicker pace;
The world was fresh, and all that’s good
Was ours to claim — we knew we could!

Fearing naught we lived with haste,
Triumph and Disaster both we faced;
We had time for lovers, foes and mates —
Leavened by bold tempting of the Fates!

Still heeding soft mutter of Battlefield,
Hard-won values in cast iron sealed,
Spurning notions of poisoned chalices —
Come Eventide, each conscience balances!

Spilling down the years come sight and sound,
Well-known faces and hard scenes rebound;
Late-garnered wisdom casts out regret —
We’re glad of shadows we can’t forget!

We feed no spectres to haunt us,
We’re deaf to voices that taunt us;
With old comrades we value connection,
For the sake of well-balanced reflection.

The world will always bleed, fume and fuss;
But for sake of all those who love us,
While sailing through Life’s turbid oceans
We restrain our inner commotions.

While the best of us as young men died,
Given years, we have loved, laughed and sighed.
Hear clearly the parting motto we fix —
“Nos effondere relinquere felix!” *

*”We intend to depart happy!”


© ron boxall
2ic D Company Vietnam 1st tour
Ron Boxall