William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

THE FOUR BOTTLES OF LIFE

For a few months, Mom said, I was happily breast fed
But she had to go to work then, that’s what my aunts said.
A corn syrup formula in a milk bottle was put into my crib bed;
The sugar put me to sleep like future milk soaked with bread.

I would collect empty pop bottles to go to the Saturday show.
One could buy Coca-Cola for just five cents, don’t you know.
I sometimes drank Pepsi-cola but mostly, as a kid I drank Coke.
It did not happen too often because mostly I was broke.

At seventeen I got a barracks canteen card to drink in the wets.
If one abused the privilege, then a card loss one would get.
In the German Wet Canteen we drank Rhine wine and beer.
I dulled the sharp edge of existence, drank too much I fear.

When I had my knee replaced I got the hospital drip bottle bag.
It’s for old broken down soldiers like us, who served under the flag.
In the golden years of our lives we can see our pensions attacked:
RCMP and CF veterans were surreptitiously and unfairly clawed back!

Billy Willbond: The Four Bottles of Life
The above photograph, which inspired this poem,
was sent to me by Barb and Moose McDonald