A little smoke in the pebbles and a dip in the strait
The white cliffs of Dover just around the bend
I could all but hear the souls skimming across that wide stretch of water
From the western front
Limping home to find their lovers’ arms long gone
Their mothers’ breasts long buried, their fathers’ reproaches all but hoary whispers

The chalk dried on our faces
And the hot sun and cold iceblocks reddened our lips
We looked like clowns
…acted like it, too

If on the way down our skin stuck to the fake leather seats, clammy with the sweat of summer
We washed that off when we dove for sunk Spitfires
Then as dusk dawned we played eye-hockey with a couple of girls

Then that bus load of Indians arrived, late but eager
Can’t say we welcomed the translucent dags and all that clamour, but their fun was infectious wasn’t it?
As they took religiously to water, just like ducks – or virgins

That we could reprise this song
Sing it till our end of days, whistling all along


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