The Sisters of The Good Samaritan - Protection of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults
April 2014

My father picked wildflowers in Palestine

As we commemorate Easter and ANZAC Day, Good Samaritan Sister Pam Grey shares a poem about one of her father’s ‘lighter’ war stories.

BY Pam Grey SGS

My father picked wildflowers
In Palestine.
Pressed them
Saved them
Carried them
In the desert,
Across the Atlantic,
Through New Guinea mud.
He cherished them.

My father picked wildflowers
In Palestine
Because the war
Ceased the day
He and his mates arrived.
Not a shot fired.
Not a shot shirked
R and R for all.
So
My father picked wildflowers
In Palestine.

Jesus could have seen them
Picked them,
Gathered them.
He could have.
Seed following seedfall
Cycle upon cycle
Until my father
Arrived in Palestine.
Happy to swap
Rifle for press
Fear for peace.
Happy to be alive.

My father picked wildflowers
In Palestine
And knew resurrection.

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Editor’s note: Sister Pam Grey’s father, Athol Grey, served in the Middle East, New Guinea and Borneo during WWII. She says this poem is a record of one of his ‘lighter’ war stories when he gave her his book of wildflowers. This spring Pam will attempt to grow some seeds from one of the flowers.

Pam Grey

Melbourne-based Good Samaritan Sister Pam Grey is a writer and poet. She also volunteers as a home tutor for newcomers to Australia who need language and resettlement support.

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