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A Remembrance Day By Paolo Ritch

A poem about memories, and memory, by Paolo Ritch

Read By Paolo Ritch


Ould Willie
Proppit up on his pillows
Ston blinnd
Wi cataracts,
Een o da last still livin
At fowt i’da trenches
Or could cleem ta mind
Da nineteen hunder gale
Or a Dutch bom
Duntin trow da soond.

Fur whan it cam tae da stories
Dey wir non wi a greater gift.
Yaeh, he could mind hailin solans
At took a haddock line –
Ae meenit on da boddam
An da nixt wan i’da lift.

So I asked im ae day aboot da war,
Which he related
Laek neem, rank an number;
A gunner,
Wi da heavy artillery.
Fowt at maust o da campaigns
Ypres, da Somme, an Passchendaele.

An dat wis dat
As I sat dere laek a blockeet on amp
Wi prunkit lugs
Waitin fur da tale tae end all tales
As he stops ta supp some Sweethert Stoot
An says,
‘Yaeh boy, I mind a Dutchman
Staundin i’da Gaerdie burn
Drinkin oot o his clug!’

Dan he gie a gaff,
Wipit a weepy cataract.
Da veesitin oor wis ower,
He lay back an neebit aff,
An dat wis da last time we spak.

Noo I tink o ould Willie’s war,
'Lest we forget',
An mony a poor sowel
At wid redder a don
Just dat.

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