Short Poem: ‘Old Soldiers’

Sitting blowing bubbles
Each one a tiny world
Of monumental troubles
And how they all unfurled.

“The desert, Cairo, jaunty,
A blue room and whore –
And so I said to Monty –
And so we won the War!”

Bernard Law Montgomery, afterwards Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, was Britain’s star commander of the Second World War. “Unbeatable and unbearable” from North Africa to northwest Europe where he had control of all Allied land forces under Eisenhower, he was the figure that British veterans tended to suggest that they had had some useful contact with.

Always arrogant, opinionated and outspoken, he later opposed American tactics in the Vietnam War, as in the New York Times in 1968: “The United States has broken the second rule of war. That is: don’t go fighting with your land army on the mainland in Asia. Rule one is, don’t march on Moscow. I developed those two rules myself.” Familiar enough to fans of Risk and Civilization and The Princess Bride…

“Two Old Soldiers” by jf01350 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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