Tim sold cards on market stalls,

ordinary greetings cards,

nothing controversial.

It was a quiet life

and he liked it.

Once his life had been exciting,

much too exciting.

In the Second World War

as a fighter pilot

he was shot down in Albania.

Lying injured in the wreck

he thought his end had come,

until out of the darkness

a small group of men appeared.

He learned their names later,

Enver Hoxha was their leader.

Insurgents we’d call them today

but then they were The Resistance,

later they were to be The Government.

Everything changes

They carried him to safety

across inhospitable terrain

and over the next few weeks

as they nursed him back to health

they all became good friends

though language should have prevented 

the exchange of stories and politics

he learned enough,

enough to speak highly of them

for the rest of his life

even though no one else did.

He’d been there, you see

and knew that he owed them.

They were allies then,

on ‘our’ side.

Everything changes.


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