St George’s Chapel

St George’s Chapel, where I came to write

memories of my father, prompted by the theme of hats.

On the prayer desk his RAF cap lies

with photo of his squadron.

In the stained glass window others in uniform;

A nurse in headdress, white, a sailor holds his cap,

a pilot his helmet and a soldier in tin hat,

protected by a knight of former times in iron casque.

Surmounted by the king from Revelation in gold coronet,

Jesus depicted with a halo bright.

Yet nowhere in this window, in praise of those who died,

is crown of thorns.

I look again.

There, beneath St George’s feet,

the dragon’s head, are thorns,

sharp thorns, on twisted brambles green,

now conquered.

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