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Ice



There was ice upon that drill square
Lying there in a solid black sheet
Just the sort of treacherous place
Made for those booted studded feet
You could imagine the old man
Standing there in that bitter cold
As each squad swung on to parade
Marching at the step they were told
Was there a look on anticipation
There on the old mans face
As squad after squad advanced
At light infantry march pace
Left right left right  Those twinkling feet  Missing not a step
Missing not a beat Then the dread command Ran around the square
Echoing from the buildings In that thin ice cold air  Parade parade halt
And what a din You could hear studs screech  As feet drove in
Slipping and sliding on that ice  Somehow managing a cohesion
So that parade stopped  With that military precision
You could sense the relief  Before the old man spoke
Not a man fallen down  Not a bone broke Ram rod straight formation kept
With bags of swank bags of pride That square was crossed  From side to side
Years on I still have dreams
That are not so nice
Of studded boots
On parade ground ice
The anticipation
And the embarrassment of it all
If you were the squaddie
That happened to fall
Or worst of all
If you slid wildly around
And went and knocked
Some more squaddies down
You just hoped if you fell
You fell alone
And didn't acquire
Any broken bones







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