“Grandpa  Joe” by Toni Newell

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Grandpa Joe had been to war,

Many years ago,

And he shared many stories,

With his grandson Billy Joe.

He told him of the friends he’d made,

Whilst serving in the war,

Of how they’d fought and survived,

And loved life even more.


He spoke of bombs and weapons,

Of trenches and terrain,

Of aeroplanes that flew so low,

That the noise drove him insane.

Of many nights that knew no sleep,

Of many days which saw no relief,

He spoke of devastation,

And of God and his belief.


He spoke of the heat, during the day,

And of the bitter cold at night,

Of always feeling hungry,

And to this no end in sight.

Of fighting shrubs and narrow paths,

Of mosquitoes high and low,

Of crawling on his belly,

To strike another blow.


He remembered the weight of his rifle,

As he carried it close to his chest,

Of shots that were constantly ringing,

As they pushed forward, getting no rest.

He spoke of the wounded and dying,

Of the sadness and loss that he felt,

Of the fear and adrenalin pumping,

And of the air and how it had smelt.


Billy Joe listened intently,

To what he had to say,

And thought his grandpa was the best,

In each and every way.


Toni Newell

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