For All Time + Dad (Eighth Army) – Sally Michaelson


Dad told me
the Chief Rabbi
gave a dispensation

for Jewish servicemen
to eat the bully beef
in their cans

even though
it wasn’t kosher,
so that after the war

he felt that absolution
still applied
to the steak and chips

he tucked away
with a dollop of bearnaise
on his conscience.


on the factory floor

he basted a thread
along a chalk line

of trouser legs
from Camp Road

to El Alamein,
though a Lee Enfield

not a needle
replaced the racket

of the spinning mule
with cracks of shot

to trace a sand line
for his skipping feet.


Note :Camp Road ( Leeds textile factory)


Sally Michaelson is a Conference Interpreter in Brussels, Belgium. Her poems have been published in Ink,Sweat and Tears, Lighthouse, The Bangor Literary Journal, Algebra of Owls, Amethyst and The High Window.

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