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Birgelen Day's – a squaddie's revenge


They put a little platform at edge of the square
For the regiment to be reviewed from there
It was a canny little thing made of sound wood
A strip of coco matting where the officer stood
Every single night I visited that saluting base
And left a liquid tribute in the officer's place
It started as a solitary thing but towards the end
I shared my little trip with a few of my friends

I never saw that parade –
I got posted for other sins
And spent a good few months
In the saving of my skin
I don't even know whether the little trips carried on
Or if they were all finished as soon as I was gone
But I imagine the scene
The parade under way
Birgelen Barracks
One hot summer's day
And the Rupert on the saluting base
In his own little hell
Stiff upper lipped
Surrounded by that smell

Did my sins go unnoticed or
Did the odd nostril quiver in distaste;
Did they realize they were standing
In good old squaddie waste.
So many years have passed,
There are lots of might have beens,
There is such satisfaction even now,
In the imagining of that scene.








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