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Jul 23

Grandfather Gordon
always scratching his wooden leg
insists "It itches!"

always a different explanation
how he lost the leg
enough to fill a book

Grandfather Gordon
scratching the air
where his leg should be

Grandfather Gordon's
wooden leg now
a tommy gun...a sword...a unicorn's horn

"Give me me leg...
...ya daft wee buggers!"
begging for his leg back

Grandfather Gordon's gone
his wooden leg lives on
dusty in a corner

I stroke his leg
remembering him
it itches in my heart

And he always dropped his 'aitches! G.G. as they called him lost a leg at Suvla Bay or as he called it "...'ell on earth!"

Another weird thing about this is that he was talking about his father who on returning from the War minus a leg had aged greatly and everyone assumed that he was his grandfather so he was called "Grandfather Gordon" for ever after. His son who was telling me this then went off to fight in the next War that was in the offing and came to understand that a man could return from the War minus a mind as well.The things he told me were what no human being should have to ever undergo and what the reality of being a soldier in wartime actually's **** or be killed. When asked what he did in the War he would always reply: "I tried not to die!"

The story telling is simply me being prepared to listen and to soak up the story by the process of emotional osmosis. Others actually listened but didn't hear and would simply pass it off as..."Oh gawd the old fellow's off again!" What I listened to was his great need to tell someone what had happened. He had kept it bottled up all this time and now was the telling time....but how can you tell your daughter that you killed other men just like you in order to return to your daughter.
Donall Dempsey
Written by
Donall Dempsey  Guildford
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