The Old String Vest

by David Honeybell

I can remember as if it was yesterday,

Gran’dad wearing his old string vest.

It was quite tight across his belly,

but much slacker across his chest.

He would wear it in the hot summer,

saying how it kept him cool.

And in the cold harsh mid-winter,

it kept him warmer, as a rule.


It was always clean on a Sunday,

so he could go to morning Mass.

After Grand’ma as usual had given it,

it’s weekly Friday night wash.

He’d wear it to go to the working men’s club,

for his Sunday pint, a smoke and a grumble.

Just arriving home for dinner time,

before having his afternoon slumber.


He wears it to go to bed each night,

under his old and threadbare pyjamas.

And although after a good night’s sleep,

he wakes up feeling fit and healthy,

a lifetime of graft and toil down the pit,

has left him far from wealthy.

So when he goes to his place of eternal rest

I’ll make sure he is wearing, his old string vest.

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