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Tom Barker
Joondalup, Australia

With spirits sunk I lay on my bunk
in Stalag 404
The mail man came, didn't call my name,
so I wandered through the door.

The wind was cold wi' racing clouds
as round the wire I'd roam.
For four long years I had nursed
thoughts of my far off home.

My wooden bed just at the head,
had such a pronounced knot.
So often had I looked at it
that it could not be forgot.

Sometimes now as I sit here
and a knot I see.
It takes me backwards into time,
when I was not so free.

Some times I hear a yell,
"Who's boiling tin is this?"
While all the tins move on the stove
and splashes cause a hiss.

Then someone gets a news flash,
and the hut grows very quiet.
The Russians are getting closer,
but most Jerries would deny it.

Sometimes when it's windy,
and clouds across the sun do scud.
Reminds me of the two blokes,
lying face down in the mud.

Bent upon escaping,
they had just got through the wire.
When Jerry shot the life from them
and left them in the mire.

But the knot seems so determined,
in my life to stay.
I will have to put up with it
until my dying day.

Now I have got grand kids,
and given grace to pause.
If I had my way,
There would be no more knots or wars.

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