YYC POP: Poetic Portraits of Poetry, a Sheri-D Wilson Laureate Project

The Freedom Thread

– Kim Miner

In the war-torn summer of ‘43, 
At 14 years old he answered the call
To serve king and country abroad
He snuck off the farm, outside Calgary  

To enlist he lied about his age, along with his 16 year old brother
With dreams of heroism and the glory of war 
They went off to kill Krauts (his words, not mine)
Leaving behind his home, sisters and mother  

Due to the fact that his build was slight,
He trained as a paratrooper in Nanton
Where he learned the skills needed for war
It burns less fuel to fly airmen who are light 

Travelled to Europe with thousands of young men 
To fight for freedoms like religious rights 
And for Western democracy
Returning home he knew not if or when 

On suicide missions he was sent
To land behind enemy lines,
To reinforce the Allies attacks from the front
The enemy’s retreat he did prevent 

Comrades shot dead in the sky
Landed beside him, where he had to leave them 
Under heavy gun fire, behind enemy lines
Dropped into a combat zone, knowing full well he may die 

The elderly war hero, now in Calgary resides
Recalled the terror at the open door of a plane
The parachute he had packed upon his back
They didn’t jump, they were pushed, no chance to decide 

The man sharing these recollections was stately
Naive young farm boy, now elderly
He survived five such missions
And earned a place in the fabric of history. 

Kim Miner

Kim Miner attended the University of Calgary where she received both a B.Ed. in 1993 and an M.Ed: Creativity in Educational Practise, in 2013.  She writes on issues like mental health, women’s rights and environmentalism.  She has performed her poetry at open mic events, poetry slams and the Calgary Spoken Word Festival.  

Kim Miner