You may have read ‘Tommy and the Tin’.
I went to Tommy’s funeral not long after that event, and was prompted to write this poem.
‘The Good Lord giveth and the Lord will take’
‘Are they sultanas in that cake?’
‘We remember Tommy in the war,’
‘Sausage rolls were great, going back for some more.’
The church is full, ‘Are they apple pies?’
And lots of hankies up to eyes.
Tommy was neglected, did anyone care?
Then at his funeral--they’re all bloody there.
Eulogies galore---‘Was like a father to me’
‘The bravest man you would ever see’
‘The worlds a worst place now’ one said with a grin.
‘Did anyone get to look in that tin’?
‘I remember at Normandy with so many dead.’
‘Could that be garlic I smell on the bread?’
'Yes Tommy got shot there' — the ham sandwich was poked,
‘Indeed badly wounded - is that salmon smoked?
(If Tommy could have seen this crowd
He surely would have screamed out loud
He’d never seen them all for years
Now milling round with all those tears.
Where were they when he’d cried all day?
Always too busy – or too far away.
‘Look at them all - just here for the tea
None of them gave a jot about me.’)
‘The day though gavest Lord is ended
The darkness falls at thy behest,’
‘This apple pie is really nice
Old Tommy always liked the best.’
‘Well poor Tommy’s left us all for good,
I didn’t realise he was ill --
We must all promise now to keep in touch’
‘Yes indeed, I’m sure we will…’