I climbed into the attic, brushed cobwebs from my face,
Knelt and looked around me, at my granny’s secret place.
I’d never been allowed up there, when I was just a lad.
And the thought of what she used to say, made me very sad.
I was always full of questions, when I’d sit with her and chat,
did grand-dad go to war granny? Can I see grand-dads tin hat.
Did he have to shoot a rifle? I bet that he was brave.
Did he fight in a big battle? When he went, did you go and wave?
But she never ever answered, all the questions that I had,
I don’t want to talk about it dear, it always makes me sad.
But I do know he’d have loved you, if he’d been with us today,
So never mind the questions, now go outside and play.
So I crawled along the roof space, looking for the past,
Would I now find all the answers, to my questions here at last.
Old pictures by the dozen and toys from long ago,
A wooden sledge that used to glide through long forgotten snow.
I opened this and pulled out that, searched the nooks and crannies,
looked inside an old dolls pram, that must have been my granny’s.
Was I doomed to disappointment, was it just a load of junk?
But then at last my eyes beheld, a dusty travelling trunk.
I pulled it out and read the words, written there in black,
PLEASE SEND THIS TRUNK ON TO MY WIFE… IF I DONT MAKE IT BACK.
Perhaps I’d have some answers, to my questions at long last,
Understand, just why granny, never talked about the past.
So I lifted up the lid, took a deep breath, looked inside,
And saw a wad of letters, that had been neatly tied.
They lay upon a uniform, complete with shirt and tie,
So I sat and read the letters, and then began to cry.
My grand-dad loved my granny, he didn’t want to go to war,
He didn’t want to tell her of, the awful things he saw.
He told her that, she should be brave, as he would try to be,
And ended his last letter, with a soulful simple plea.
We’re loading up tomorrow dear, to go across to France,
The yanks are coming with us, so we’ll have an even chance.
If you don’t get this letter dear, it will mean I made it back,
But if you do, then I’m sorry dear, but don’t paint the future black.
There’s so much I wanted to do with you, but you know I had to go,
Though I’d rather be, safe in your arms, and watch our children grow.
Tell all the kids I love them, tell them to tell their kids as well,
Tell them I kept on fighting, until the final bell.
Goodnight, God bless, my darling, I’ll be with you in your dreams,
So I tidied up the letters, pushed the trunk under the beams.
Thought of all the things my grand-dad, had written to his wife,
The sacrifice they both made, to give me a better life.
In my short time, I’d always thought, that war would be great fun,
The letters made me realise, that you lose, even if you’ve won.
Older generations paid, for our future with their life,
There should be granny’s AND grand-dads…not just a lonely wife.
© Martin Silvester 26/2/15
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