Mooching in Grandad’s Dresser Drawer

The aroma of his cigars hit my seven-year-old nostrils
as soon as I tug open the drawer. Fat coronas in bright-
colored boxes later to be treasure chests for my beetles
and fossils. Aluminium tubes that became Flash Gordon
space rockets or mini-subs for Allied commandoes.

Yellowed First War photos of Grandad the hussar
in far-off Greece where he succumbed to malaria,
or bulky as the Home Guard sarge during the Blitz.
Bullets rattled in the drawer corners next to a silver
medal from the Queen with a red and blue ribbon.

Grandad, who when he took me to the seaside,
insisted on calling the seagulls “ducks.”