Peter Heppenstall Peter Heppenstall
Poppy
Stormy Sky by Reint Withaar Stormy Sky by Reint Withaar
The Royal Corps of Transport The Royal Corps of Transport

In Memoriam

When I was sixteen, we climbed, Peter and I,
High on hill and crag, joyful with excitement
Standing, out of breath, panting like dogs,
Looking to the distant horizon, for us, then,
It held the mystery of our manhood.

That night, we sat around the fire, singing,
Waiting for the dawn, wondering what would happen.
Nothing did, of course, the light came
Creeping over bog and gully,
No longer children, nor yet men, then
When he saw the angry clouds
Peter said, a storm is coming, we watched,
Like a leviathan it moved,
Caressing the land with a violent kiss,
As we hiked away, its chill breath followed us,
Mocking our childhood, now, almost over.

Did you think of that day, Peter,
When the storm came to you,
A lifetime later, when it tore you apart,
Did you remember the joy of youth
In the midst of a vicious war,
Did you remember your childhood heart.

For Peter, the boy who sometimes laughed.
Killed in Belfast, July 1972.