This poem is taken from Stand 217, 16(1) March - April 2018.

N.S. Thompson Poem
Stepping Out: 1941

The words were clear: put on a happy face –
No more than that – when off to face the music,
Not knowing if you could be sure the dance
Band would be up to scratch, so we had lower
Expectations: you had to in a city
An enemy was doing its best to level.

It took some doing being on the level,
Uprooted streets were what you had to face
And sleep deep underground inside the city,
But we came up with rudiments of music
And had them entertaining us with lower
Ranks pitching in as well to make a dance.

And everything was uniform. The dance
Made certain everyone was on the level.
What could you do but clasp a shoulder, lower
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