A Brush with the Enemy by Michael Healy
Father was a Military Man
Who hailed from North of the Border
Smart in his kilt, hat and Uniform
He would play his bagpipes as his team performed
A Pipe Major in the Black Watch, and proud.
Sadly the flames of World War II were loud
And he and his bagpipes had to part.
As war was declared he was promoted and transferred,
In charge of a battery of anti-aircraft guns, men, and kit,
Posted to London, in the middle of the Blitz,
A busy time for all, with he and his men often under attack.
Transferred again, to the Liverpool docks, they were glad to be back.
After so many firings the guns were cleaned
With a brush being pushed down the barrel
During one such cleaning the Germans attacked,
The orders were given for the guns to fire back.
After the action was over, one brush was found to be missing.
In later life my father would muse, what must the Germans have thought?
When a brush flew past from below, as those British Soldiers fought.
Despite their attempts to sweep the sky,
the guns were attacked and it seemed he might die.
The rest of the story as life carried on, is really quite happy and bright.
Transferred to hospital, over many months, he began to regain his light.
With the care of the doctors, and the wiles of the nurses, he started to notice their smiles,
One in particular, her name was Nurse Margery, her smile caught onto Dads’ heart,
War over, in February ’47, they were happily married,
March ‘48, I finished their story, as that wee bairn she had carried.
Pleased to report, my occasional slumbers, were accompanied by the skirl of his pipes.
Dad would recall his stories, behind the smoke of his pipe, and as I listened I often wondered if that brush ever did come to light?