I came upon this poem in our local magazine and had read it recently elsewhere. I found it very moving, the moreso as it is written anonymously by 'one no longer fit and able to march'.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
'Why do you march, old man
with medals on your chest?
Why do you grieve old man
for those you laid to rest?
Why do your eyes gleam old man
when you hear the bugler blow?
Tell me why you cry old man
for those days long ago.'
'I'll tell you why I march, young man
with medals on my chest.
I'll tell you why I grieve young man
for those I laid to rest.
Through misty fields of gossamer silk
come visions of distant times
when boys of such a tender age
marched forth to battle lines.
We buried them in a blanket shroud
their young flesh scorched and blackened,
in a communal grave so newly dug
in bloodstained gorse and bracken -
and you ask me why I march, young man.
I march to remind you all
that but for those apple-blossomed youths
you'd never know freedom at all.
His comrades rest in peace - I hope there are times when he knows peace.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
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