The Veterans

On the bus journeys home
after school, the workers
from Lever Brothers
smelt of Surf and Persil
and rancid Stork magarine.

Demobbed ten years earlier,
they still had the war on them
and sat with it tucked tight
under their greasy macks.

They made the top deck
their snug, closed it off
with Woodbine smoke and
the camaraderie of silence.

They had no time for
grammar school boys
who’d got off lightly,
who were going places
on university grants.


© Nemo 2023
Views: 743
critique and comments welcome.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This piece is as thick with atmosphere as the top deck is thick with smoke. I guess I’d have been one of those kids who got it easy. Excellent poem IMHO
Pointless and ironic fact: Persil was a German product which Lever were given the rights to make as part of the WW1 reparations

Flag Content