Why I went back
Why I went back
A posthumous poem in the voice of Walter Tull – 28.04.1888 to 25.03.1918
Until you’ve been under fire
hunkered down in some funk hole
you’ll never know terror, the horror
or the damage to the soul
that just one barrage can do,
before you ever hear the whistle’s blast
that, sadly it’s true
for all too many,
signals this’ll be your last.
So, some have asked me why I did it,
why I returned to the front.
Some have asked me why I did it,
was it just some newspaper stunt?
Some couldn’t understand it.
Why would I choose to go back?
Some couldn’t understand it
Partly, because I was black.
But, on many fields, have I battled
fought to win honour and respect
demonstrated I was at least an equal
in matters physical… or of intellect.
While all the time being shot at
with whizzbangs of undodgeable abuse
and always treading, oh so carefully,
lest there were cultural land mines to defuse.
And in my darkest moments
leaders have shown me the way
and in those darkest moments
as I’ve bowed my head to pray
I imagined one day I’d inspire
men to see beyond the melanin I inherited
to follow me, because they could see
my authority was merited.
So, no final cup hurrah for me,
no victory lap of Ibrox back in blighty
But I’d never swing the lead you see
So now I’m with the lord almighty.
Amid the nightmare of the Somme
I saw my some of my dreams come true
And while you may be sad, that I’ve moved on
I hope these dreams inspire you!
©Mark ‘Mrt T’ Thompson 16.01.2020
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