Like father, like son

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 When my son was three
We lived in Ironbridge.
And on Saturday mornings,
Father and son marched down the hill
For ten penny mix and cosy chat
Beneath the war memorial.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Cast and ramrod straight,
The young soldier with chiselled face,
And steely gaze, surveys the gorge.
Clean uniform, boots and puttees not grimed,
Mind not bent by sights and sounds.
Iron willed,
He records the valour of young men,
Of flesh and blood,
Killed by steel, by men, by mud.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 We would sit in his shadow
Until it was time to march back up again.
And when we were neither up nor down,
We could play football together or
He would play on his galleon or fortress.
Raising his imaginary sword above his head
He would invoke the power of Grey Skull
And be He-Man.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 As the years passed
I watched proudly,
As fleet of foot and strong in limb,
He would battle on English playing fields.
Sporting his colours, collecting his trophies.
Making his goals
Taking his knocks
In comradely esprit de corps.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 This week, after a funeral, when still
Thinking of how my American friend had
Described his youth as school, college and Vietnam,
I went back to Ironbridge
And sat beneath the Soldier again.
The ten penny mix sweet shop was still there
Selling black jacks, pink shrimps and vivid memories.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 My son is adult now,
Moulded by experience and ramrod straight
He volunteers for duties.
With his iron resolve,
Eagerly facing his future,
He reminds me of the bronzed soldier,
Of all the fallen young men.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Would he march away to a clarion call?
Would he play football in no-mans land?
Certainly not for King,
Perhaps for country, for beliefs, for others.
Or be conscripted and
Have to roar to brayed orders?
Would he have to be a he-man,
By the power of grey skulls?

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/like-father-like-son/