Memories of War and my Mary

Flanders Field

Dear reader:

My bompa (British term for grandfather), is no longer with us. In World War I he was Private First Class Sanford Dobson. Bompa was in the infantry division of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces, the forerunner of the Canadian Armed Forces. He died from his third heart attack when I was five. My grandfather married my grandmother December 27, 1922. This poetry reflection based on the recollections of myself and my family seeks to honour his memory, and those who are willing to sacrifice their lives for their country. We miss you, bompa.

An infantry soldier of 17 am I

In World War 1 I see a dear friend die

We are laughing, telling jokes, sharing stories

I wonder why he stops talking

I touch him. He slumps over

Dead from a bullet is he

No longer would his jovial smile I see

In a damp fox hole I am exposed to mustard gas

Wake up every morning coughing phlegm for over half an hour

before I can begin my day

Family and friends tell me what a high price I did pay

But it’s no tougher for me than those in my platoon

whose dreams died in the cold French mud far too soon

Some have a lifetime of disability

Others are sent to their sleep of eternity

When the fresh country air of home I smell

I think back to my infantry buddies I know so well

I kiss my fiancé, Mary, stroke her beautiful hair

We tell each other how much for one another we care

Soon, we would marry

Sometimes, I would tease her singing,

“It’s a long way to tickle Mary.

It’s a long way to go.”

She would blush

Face red like cherries

Our love is as sweet as raspberries

This thought I leave with you

When you see or wear a poppy red

think of the wounded in war, their families,

think of the dead.

Let us never forget those who lay in Flanders Fields row on row

Never let their sacrifice from our memory go

Karen Osborne B.A. Christian Clinical Counseling St. James the Elder Theological Seminary, graduate divinity student at Trinity College University of Toronto. D.Sc. in Psychology, St. James the Elder Theological Seminary. Kevin Osborne, B. Th. Canada Christian College & Graduate School. B.A., M.A. Christian Clinical Counseling, M.A-Th.D. Applied Theology student majoring in Psychology St. James the Elder Theological Seminary, D.D., D.Sc. Christian Clinical Counseling, Diplomate in Traumatology American Board of Traumatology Examiners of St. James the Elder Theological Seminary, Diplomate in Creative Ministry St. James the Elder Theological Seminary. Kevin Osborne is a member of The Word Guild, which is a Christian writer’s group. Please go to for further information.

About Dr. Kevin Osborne B.A., B.Th., M.A., M.Div., Psy.D. Ph.D. and Th.D. Candidate

I enjoy spending time with people just having a coffee or talking about life, philosophy, religion, politics or sharing a favorite joke or story. We learn from one another as we interact and share our joys, challenges and even our times of sadness. I enjoy reading, writing, singing and sharing in the blessing of community whether that is one on one or in groups. I'm married and am powned by two kitties named Sir William of Lounge a.k.a. Sir Lounge a Lot and Princess Catherine of Chaos a.k.a. Her Royal Highness Catherine of Englehart. Two years ago I completed my Doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D.) through St. James the Elder University. On Sept. 26th 2020, I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Canadian Christian Theological Seminary. These journeys were started over 20 years ago. In 1997 I received a Bachelor of Theology degree from Canada Christian College & Graduate School. Between working and studying it took 13 years to finish it. Let us pray for and reach out to each other with kindness, love and an embracing compassion. We can working together be servants with two open hands to those in need so that hate, indifference and inequality would lose and love will win. The peace and abounding joy of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Posted on November 11, 2015, in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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