Grandad

You know when you are growing up

The stages you go through

Make you the way you are

They help to make you…YOU

The people who you deal with

Whether family or your friends

Are very influential

And they’re with you ’till the end

But little things they tell you

Might  get on your last nerve

You know you sometimes hate them

And it’s not something they deserve

I miss my Grandad fiercely

Now, more than before

I wish I’d listened closely

And I wish I’d listened more

You know the tales that old folks tell

The one’s we love to hate

Like “you’ve not got it hard boy”

“You’ve got it bloody great”

We all know about the walk to school

The uphill walk both ways

About how they only had an orange

And it had to last four days

You know they meant the best for you

But, that’s not how it came off

You’d love to go and visit

But, you also loved to scoff

Times were always harder then

You never knew what you had

At least that was the feeling

That I got from my Grandad

They all got married younger

They were stronger in their minds

We were lazy, non-commital

To hard work, we were blind

So, every time a visit

Came around, I’d ask to stay

I’d rather be at home alone

Than with Grandad for the day

But, one day changed my feelings

I learned what Grandad was about

When I went there for a visit

And my Grandad took me out

We went out for a road trip

That my parents did allow

And that road trip still stays with me

My eyes were opened….wow!

He knew I would have rather

Stayed at home and not been there

But, I went out for my parents

And he knew I didn’t care

First he took me to a building

“I’m just here to quaff a brew

And while I’m sitting with my cronies

There’s something you must do.”

I didn’t know it was a legion

And he handed me a book

He said this was a memoriam

And that I should have a look

Each face I saw stare back at me

Had died before their time

They went to fight for freedom

Not just theirs, but yours and mine

Mere children when you think back now

And how they went to war

They would forever be this young

And would not age forever more

Grandad said, “We’re going”

“We have another stop”

And it was at this destination

That the other penny dropped

He took me to a statue

In the park, so resilute

It was stone and bronze and copper

And my Grandad did salute

The cenotaph he called it

I’d not heard that name before

He said it was a monument

To those who’d gone before

The names and the young faces

That I’d seen that afternoon

Were honored by this edifice

That stood like a Roman Ruin

“Each town” he said gave their young men

To make sure  Freedom reigned

“And each Legion has a book like ours

So we don’t forget their names”

I stepped back from the statue

that honored our towns dead

He said, “do not salute”

“you can stand and bow your head”

That day, My Grandad reached out

And he made me understand

All those things he’d told me

And what it takes to be a man

Now, years have passed and he is gone

I miss him every day

“We walked up hill both ways to school”

I’d love to hear him say

Forty years have come and gone

Now, I’m a Grandad too

I’ve two grandkids I’d love to see

And, I hope they’d love to see me too

But, just like me when I was young

They want to live their life

They’d rather spend time with their friends

Than with their Grandad and his wife.

My son dropped by the other day

And the kids came to say hi

I’d love to see them more than this

And that’s the reason why

I loaded up the car with them

“I’ won’t be long my dear”

“We’re just off for a short road trip “

“Just to go and have a beer”

She smiled, she knew the reason

And I know that she is glad

For I want them to be proud of me

Like I was, my Old Grandad.

I don’t have any grand dads left. Both are passed on. I don’t remember my Grand Dad Turner, he passed in 1970, I think. I still miss my Grand Dad Howe, who my Mum has many fond stories of.
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