The Burnt Angel and The Rainbow

He wore a mask and gloves to hide the terrible scars.
We’d saved up enough money to buy him a tuxedo
for the special occasion, bless him…
8 years old or not, he looked like a proper little gentleman.
He came on after the Ballerinas had finished,
walked across the stage to the microphone stand,
stuttered “H-h-hello” and dedicated it to his Mammy.
Then he started singing ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’
the Auditorium went as silent as the grave instantly.
I was absolutely gobsmacked, so beautiful, my brave angel…
there were six nurses in attendance with us
and three of them ran outside halfway through,
blubbering and a-wailing like babies.
His voice came from somewhere else…
that year and a half in Chepstow Burns Unit,
all of that pain, discomfort and appalling misery…
just flowed out into that one song,
I’m weeping, and my heart’s in bits, just telling you about it.
when he’d finished, I looked Heavenward and cried
“God, You Can Come Take Me Now, I’m Done!”
I swear there is no greater gift on this earth than being a Mother.

Paul Tristram is a widely published Welsh writer who deals in the Lowlife, Outsider, and Outlaw genres.  He wrote his first poem as a teenager following his release from the (Infamous) Borstal ‘HMP Portland’, and he has been creating Literary Terrorism ever since. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.