My grandfather distinguished himself,
On the field of honour
As a Canadian soldier
During Holland’s liberation.
On the fields of Holland,
My grandfather was a hero.
But the hero came home.
And then he was a hero,
In no more than name,
In fact he was a villain,
Bringing medals to shame,
For heroes and villains
Can be one and the same.
Yes the hero came home,
And revealed something other,
For six years of her childhood,
He raped my poor mother,
Until he was caught,
And finally imprisoned,
Leaving lives torn,
Family full of divisions.
An act can be heroic,
Yes I know that it can,
But to see a real hero,
First show me the whole man.

(I don’t usually write after prompts, but I couldn’t resist “Military, Soldiers, and Veterans” from Jingle poetry.)

9 thoughts on “Hero/Villain

  1. I know you have your personal take on your grandfather,

    honest and powerful write,

    but how do you know that everyone else is better?
    humans are imperfect, your grandfather is who he is, it is great that he allowed you to see his weakness or short comings…thanks for sharing.

    • Are you nuts? He raped my mother from the time she was 6 till she was 12. He then got caught and went to prison for not long enough. He didn’t “allow” me to see his weakness, and yeah, I’m willing to bet the majority of grandfathers are quite a lot better on the being a decent human being scale. The point of the piece however was not my anger at my grandfather, or to hang him out, but rather to juxtapose the two realities in the same person. He was a decorated war hero whose actions saved the lives of his fellow soldiers in Holland in WWII, but also a man who committed a most heinous act on his own daughter.

Words, words, glorious words! Give me all of your words!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s