Some Other Spring
Standing at the sink washing dishes, I have to smile –
watching my three, and the two next door playing conkers.
Best thing about this dump is the chestnut tree and the garden –
house not up to much. Only what you’d expect of Army Barracks.
Mind you, next May we’re due to be revamped, so they tell us.
New windows and a paint job. I’ll believe it when it happens.
How time flies. It’s a year ago tomorrow, those two lads
lost their dad. He was posted to Basra. Killed in action
they told his widow. Nice woman she is – salt of the earth.
His death nigh on destroyed her but she’s picking up the pieces
day on day and her kids get on famously with mine. They fight,
have their disagreements but boys will be boys after all.
Here comes her eldest, Billy. Looks dead pleased with himself.
“I am the champion. Yes, I am the champion,” he crows at the top
of his voice. What it is to be young, eh? A battle waged, fought
and won with something as benign as a conker and a piece of string.
Too many families like Billy’s and what of mine? Will it be like his?
If not this year, or the next – chances are, some other Spring.