February 14th 2003

I’m sat on the stairs, sucking hard
on a cigarette.
I used to jump off these steps as a kid,
pretending to be a Paratrooper.
Now I’m sat here, waiting for the postman,
wondering if I’ll receive a card
from my boyfriend
or a letter from the air force
telling me to join the lads in the Gulf.

I remember the last Gulf War.
When my dad wasn’t working nights
(and usually after Mum had helped me with my algebra)
we’d snuggle up on the sofa
and watch the 9 o’clock news.
The living room would smell of Dad’s oranges
(he loves fresh fruit),
Mum would be knitting my yellow cardigan
and I’d be warming my hands
on a mug of hot blackcurrant.
We’d chat about Arsenal
while watching Kate Adie in her flak jacket,
the green glow of night vision
and patriots shooting scuds out of the sky.

Marvin Thompson

If you've any comments on this poem, Marvin Thompson would be pleased to hear from you.