Grandad Ernie’s Rosary by Sheila Jacob

I am not a silent poet

Cambrai, Northern France, November 1917

Sarge reckoned we’d nail the Jerries this time,

nab the town of Com-bree, cut off their supplies.

We was all in it together with our rifles, shells,

machine guns and biplanes but them new tanks

was more trouble than they was worth, groaning

and grinding, getting stuck in the blinking mud.

Jerry whizz-bangs came flying out of nowhere,

blowed us off our feet, we was all over the shop

coughing and cussing be’ind waves of smoke.

My best mate Frank copt it right in the kisser,

I ‘eard ‘im cry No-oo then ‘e was screaming

though ‘e ‘ad no mouth to scream with, poor sod.

We crawled for cover, ‘oled up safe for the night.

Frank used to mither ‘ave yow said yowr prayers

 young Ernie, ’ave yow changed yowr wet  socks?

So I said one for Frank, ‘oped ‘e’d gone to ‘eaven,

took a…

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