Cousin Frank

I never knew Frank, shot down over Germany.
In the silver-framed photo on Auntie’s sideboard,
he smiled in his flying jacket with lamb’s wool lining
about to make his last flight in his Lancaster bomber.
On Wednesday, Aunts’ day, I devoured a cold ham
salad and raspberry jelly with cream, then I’d climb
apple trees in the jungle in Auntie Mary’s garden.
Frank and I had the gnarled trees to ourselves.
We vanquished the Nazi hordes, then piloted
our apple tree raiders as far north as Blackpool,
to carpet bomb the honky tonk of the Golden Mile.