My Father's New Guinea - Poem by Douglas Scotney
Chockos, chocolates of the 39th,
expected to melt in battle,
is what they were called,
Australian volunteers, militia,
sent to New Guinea
to dig new roads and unload ships;
sent up the Owen Stanleys
to harry and delay
while the Seventh was on the way.
After serving in
the snows of the Middle East,
my father arrived with the 'silent' Seventh
and his nickname, The Great CC.
He was wounded almost immediately,
or very soon thereafter,
saw no more action,
returned and left the service
and got a job manufacturing ice.
'This is the way
your nation pays, ' he grumbled one day to me,
'Like 'ice', lad,
I was still in service
till I left that bloody ice.'
It made me think,
of what I'd better be:
a comic and a thinker and a poet.
He'd be proud
I'm a sentence tinker.
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