The Fathers

By Siegfried Sassoon

Snug at the club two fathers sat,
Gross, goggle-eyed, and full of chat.
One of them said: ‘My eldest lad
Writes cheery letters from Bagdad.
But Arthur’s getting all the fun
At Arras with his nine-inch gun.’

‘Yes,’ wheezed the other, ‘that’s the luck!
My boy’s quite broken-hearted, stuck
In England training all this year.
Still, if there’s truth in what we hear,
The Huns intend to ask for more
Before they bolt across the Rhine.’
I watched them toddle through the door
These impotent old friends of mine.

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