Saturday, November 05, 2005

Badge of honour

She moved with a calculated precision, body erect, back held straight;
But the old familiar animation danced in her eyes.

She spoke in gestures
And her hand was a bird alighting on my arm to emphasise her points
But when we walked, her vibrancy ossified

To a deliberation of rehearsed posture.

We spoke of backs and hips and osteopaths;
"This is my badge of honour" she said,
"Giving birth to a sideways baby first put this out".

Last time I met her she lingered in memory.
Maybe it was the perfume echoing on me where we parted with a kiss.
Maybe a resonance of spirit where opposites attract and her confidence
Aligned the compass of my diffidence.

This time she earned her place in memory again.
Partly the tingle of affection given and received;
Partly the appreciation of kindredness beneath the different versions of our lives;
But most of all the words:

"My badge of honour".

Honour is not in pain endured - you had no choices there.
Real honour is in making good choices,
In choosing to acknowledge the link between life and pain;
In remembering with thankfulness the context of suffering.

That, my friend, is your badge of honour,
And the gift you gave to me.

(c) A McN


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home