Black Tot Day

It was madness

Every lad from port to starboard

Jostled to get to the front of the line

Black armbands flailing like jolly rogers

Even the bosun were throwing punches

Until the pipe came and the six bells rang 

A profound silence filled the air

Up spirits one last time

Drinking to memory 

A procession of lament and final salute

Three centuries of tradition buried at sea

All these years later I still remember that bloody slogan

“Last Issue of Rum to the Royal Navy 31st July 1970.”