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The Boot ©

Tom Barker
Joondalup, Australia

Living under canvas, down by the Sea so Dead,
in Palestine before the war, one often could see red.
For things like scorpions and spiders, into one's boot would creep,
then one would be in agony, enough to make one weep.

The canteen would be open, and Soldiers there would lurk,
it was their only drinking spot, when they had finished work.
Some scrounged a tasty ice cube, so cooling just to lick
While others guarded precious grog, so someone didn't nick.

The Sergeant would then enter, at ten of the clock,
to inform the canteen Wallah, the tent he would have to lock.
So everyone would leave the tent, and it was often said,
"Ah'm just going to have a leak, before I hit me bed."

Now when lights out is sounded, it always was quiet clear,
one stayed inside one's tent at night, if one held life so dear.
Sentries are on Guard at night, and should one venture out,
one could quiet easily be shot mistakenly, for an Arab lout.

We had a boozy bloke with us, he lived within our tent,
I think on self destruction, this unhappy clod was bent.
He would come in from the boozer, as drunken as a skunk,
and staggering through the tent flap, would fall down on his bunk.

But in the night he woke with fright, he had to take a leak,
no one spoke to this poor bloke, in fact they were quite bleak
In desperation he looked round, then he found another's bed,
with a boot tucked underneath, so he leaked in it instead.

Came the dawn the next morn, and that tent had an awful smell,
one bloke who did his boot pull on, let out an awful yell.
"What bladdy fool has my boot wet, and now I cannie wear it?
Until it has dried out enough, cos the smell I cannie bear it!"

The next time the canteen was shut, and to their beds they wandered,
the bloke who had a wetted boot, sat on his bed and pondered.
So waiting until the drunk lay down, and was softly snoring,
our crafty mate changing over boots, thought tomorrow won't be boring.

And sure enough there in the dark, and at the midnight hour,
our drunken mate got up so late, and looking oh so dour.
Taking a boot from beneath a bed, that was near the pole,
he filled the boot until the booze, came out through every hole.

The bloke who woke up early, and changing the boots right back,
sat and watched as the drunk got up, and his boot he tried to hack.
He put his foot into his boot, and liquid squirted out,
and the bad smell emitted by the boot, did everybody rout.

The drunk took off the boot and said, with a derisive hoot,
"Wait ti ah' catch the mucky sod, that's bin leakin' in mah boot!"
But he was sent to Cairo, perhaps off the booze to wean,
we now can sleep in our tent, which smells so sweet and clean.

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