My Father Visits Cologne
My father bombed Cologne in WW II
Freezing in his Lancaster bomber
as he lit up the city in savage beauty.
Years later he sat in Köln cathedral .
Alone, he experienced an epiphany
looking up into its repaired roof where
14 bombs had found the mark.
For the first time in 50 years
he wondered if the young flyer
had done the right thing,
dropping his bombs on this place.
Light shot through the windows of
the sacristy where his cookie landed. .
Seeing a swallow flying in the nave
he decided there was no proper
answer to his question. He had
been young and afraid of nothing.
Not like the way he felt today.
So he put five marks on the pew
And decided to keep on living..