Lessons

 

A tribute to their glory,

Reminder of War’s shame,

Each stone simply bears

Unit, Rank and name.

 

They are there like Regiments

Arrayed in Open Order Parade,

Every single cross there marking

Where a Hero was finally laid.

I suppose an air of sombre peace

Overhangs this mass resting place;

You can see so many emotions

Etched on each visiting face.

 

In some places there are trenches

Preserved on those killing fields

Purposeful grim reminder of

That bitter War’s grim yield.

They were mown down by thousand,

Some near buried where they’d stood

Enveloped by that shell torn earth

Turned into clinging, cloying, mud.

 

Some nearly advanced to victory

Until the cruel withering fire

Left them so very nearly there

But hanging dead on enemy wire.

Now the cemeteries stand there

With their awful type of beauty

Each cross a scant reward

For a life given in duty.

 

And so they lie in their lines,

A tribute each one earned,

And in spite of those reminders

The lesson still isn’t learned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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