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 entails....it'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.