We’d tumble down grass field slopes
With friends, in high pitched yells of “Geronimo”
Laughs from the belly as Bert boshed the cow-pat
His hand to his elbow smattered in cow-poo.
That day was just one in that short summer of delights
The shallow weeded river soon unwrinkled Bert’s face
We all collapsed as a nearby cow farted
Words weren’t needed between us to find fun.
Each day a new adventure where grown-ups only frowned
Our secret camp deep in the woods, next to the split elm
Where we would sit in the damp leaves to sometimes talk
Of older brothers on call up in Korea, fighting at war.
None of us knew what war was really like
Some like me, thought it was like, cowboys
But, all shooting real bullets, so a lot of ducking down
Behind walls, trees, or bushes.
My older brother Jack would write to Mum when he could
But his letters didn’t say anything very much
How’s the family?
I’m OK It’s too hot here, was about all he would say
Running back through the village, to be in time for Children’s Hour
Relishing the new wireless gleaming proud on Mum’s sideboard
Only this day was different – As I ran through the back door
Aunty Joan from next door had her arms round Mum – both crying.
The crumpled telegram with the black edges on the table
Told me even before I knew what it read………….