Friday, 11 November 2011

You don't need a picture.

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'.


'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.


Maggi said...

Sentiments so well expressed Heather. Thank you for sharing this poem

Karen said...

Perfect, Heather. Thank you.

Heavens2Betsy said...

Such a moving tribute to lost comrades and a beautiful reminder of their sacrifice. Thank you. penny

Anonymous said...

We will remember them; we do still remember them.

Thank you Heather.

Suztats said...

Lest We Forget.

Thank you for sharing this poem.

Carol Q said...

does us good to be reminded Heather. so many generations now won't appreciate what they went through

The Weaver of Grass said...

A moving poem Heather and one I have not seen before. I attended our loval War Memorial service at 11 this morning - it was such a moving occasion.

Julie said...

A very moving poem Heather.

Digitalgran said...

gnoblestVery moving Heather.