Free Sunday

You open one eye, surely something is wrong,
It’s time to get up; you’ve been sleeping too long!
Why no loud bugle blast and no rough wake-up calls?
Where’s the pace-stick that’s thumping the barrack room walls?

And slowly, as drowsiness seeps from your brain,
The realization! – Free Sunday again!
No pressure, no need to prepare for parade,
Your Master – the clock- ignored, not obeyed!!

At least, for the rest of the day you are free
To do as you please, taking life easily.
What to do? Have a lie-in? Or stroll without haste
To the cookhouse for breakfast along with your mates?

The options seem endless, a luxury now,
Of choices to do as you will, so just how
Will you spend the remainder of this perfect day,
Free from commands that you have to obey?

It comes about every fourth Sunday, you may
Choose to idle around in the NAAFI all day,
Or go out to the town and blow all your pay,
Then return, feeling fragile, and less than OK!

In our youth this free day was the longed-for occasion
That was observed with much eager anticipation,
It freed us from bondage, though temporary,
Reminding us what it was like to be free.

And then, in years later, when called to the mind,
It underlined all those long days of hard grind,
And the value of freedom which many can’t see
If they haven’t experienced it’s loss, as did we.

And its value, a thing on which spirit will thrive,
Is the right that no person should ever deprive
Of another, the birthright that mankind should hold
As so sacred, too priceless to ever be sold.

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