22/05/2015

#poem #poetry #awriting birth of a nation

birth of a nation

I always did what charlie said
never played in disused fridges
always looked both ways because tufty told me
and ate birds-eye burgers to be like ben

- yes I was a good boy
who believed the cavalry would save the day -

so it was a shock
- when dipping half a fish-finger
in the residue of bean juice -
to learn from john craven
   that saigon had fallen
   and america had lost

there was something very wrong
about those tank riders waving red flags
- yes I know it was their country
I knew it even then
but all those sunday afternoon war films
   surely they couldn't be wrong

my father was rather less anxious
   - at this sudden change of events -
and did what he always did
when dealing with the yanks
he mimed picking his nose
mimed running the bogey down the seam of his trousers
and pointed at the ceiling
   'the stars and stripes' he said

The Blue Book