It was so warm that evening as we sat
Three in the morning in the open air
Three of just us sitting and talking
Pints in hand lounged in deck chairs.
A father and only son on leave, home
At the end of the Falkland campaign.
I think the son maybe needed to talk
To tell it once, then not again.
I sat in the middle
Where both could see
And both of them sat
And talked through me.
The father had been a paratrooper
Veteran, of the Second Great War,
Trying not to behave or seem
As if he'd seen it all before.
His son told us how close it was
Just as easily lost as won;
How the ammo was so short
Even before it had begun.
He told us how they took rounds
From surrendered prisoners packs;
Then laughed and said of course
They got most of it straight back;
And we borrowed their boots dad,
Because in less than a week
Those we were issued with
Had all begun to leak.
Their was a silence then,
‘Til the father spoke aloud,
Thank you for talking with us son
I‘m sure you know I'm proud.
We all laughed as I raised my glass.
Thanks for coming back all that way
And thank you for inviting me
To your twenty first birthday.
Though the party is
Three weeks late
We really thought
We'd better wait.
Then I drank to them both,
Not sure if either could see
Just how proud I was
They'd talked through me.