In a diplomatic and Consular career one sometimes comes across inconsolable tragedy which leaves one shaken to the core. The poem below arose from one such:


                                    C  A  B  L  E


” Would you be kind enough Sir

To bury our son with all due rites”

The cable plainly said without a tear,

A distant mother’s practical prayer

In queer English.


Though the last letter

Still loud and clear

In her shaking hand

From her expatriate dear

Who ventured far

Into an unheard of land

Of promise.


And the alarm clock for her

Who would be needing time no longer

And the plastic clips from Japan

She did not want sent,

Like him remained



All she accepted were the stamped

Certificates proclaiming his name

And the cancelled passport

From which he kept looking up at her

With the same smart smile