Oh look ! Here come my parents,
Fresh from the Blitz.
They smile as if disbelief that I am their daughter.
I have their nose, height, gesture, voice
I also have their grief.
They are two world wars trying to make sense.
Arms linked, locked tightly into stories of bombs, death, air raid shelters, POWs,
Like an old fashioned 33 and a third,
They are stuck hobbling in a track,
Clutching each other’s coats.
And they even have tales of the war BEFORE their war,
Yes, THAT war. The GREAT war.
The one with dug out trenches in French fields
Where nobody knew what the fight was about.
The one with the idiots in charge,
Where young men were served up
Like watery custard on a soggy pudding,
For the enemy’s palate.
My parents were never even there.
But might as well have been.
They walked that hell as young children,
Through stories, and the lashing out of their elders.
Then to experience their own WAR, THE war.
Eased out like a raven of death
From the trench coat of the Treaty of Verseilles.
Composed in tragic, symphonic form by they who knew only profits, empire, money.
Not the power of the silent bar.
Yes, THAT treaty, THAT war.
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