Nicky’s Children

Parents, who stood bravely on the platform
Of Prague’s Wilson Railway Station,
Trying to smile through tears,
Loved their children more than they loved themselves
And so they had to let them go
To escape from the shadow of the Swastika
Wearing names on cards hanging around their young necks
Unaware of how one unassuming, bespectacled Englishman,
A stockbroker and a fencer, had surrendered
A skiing vacation in Switzerland
To arrive in the right place at the right time
And after days of writing lists and posting photographs
Had found 669 homes for them in Great Britain–
Fifty years later on Esther Rantzen’s Tv show
When the scrapbook in the attic revealed
More than 20 ”children” in the audience,
Vera Gissing leaned across and kissed his cheek
Murmuring a lifetime’s gratitude in two words:”Thank you!”–
A gentle nod, a tear or two quietly wiped away,
Nicholas Winton resumes his seat:
Great men don’t need applause…

( Sir Nicholas Winton [1909-2015] was a British humanitarian who organized the rescue of 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War. Winton found homes for the children and arranged for their safe passage to Britain.The world found out his work over 50 years later in 1988.”–Wikipedia.)

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About VijayNair

I retired as Associate Professor, Department of English, Government Victoria College Palakkad, Kerala. I taught English Language and Literature in various colleges for 31 years. My Ph.D. thesis was on the plays of Wole Soyinka. My collections of verse include "The City and the Hermitage" (1988), "Doors Swing Open" (2008), "Eyes" (2010) and "Whispers of Light in Darkness" (2013). My poems have also appeared in the International Anthologies "I am a Poet" (2013), "With Love" (2013), "Synthesis" (2014) "Poetic Symphonies" (2015) and "Heavenly Hymns" (2015).

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