In Silence

In silence I stand at the cenotaph and cry

For those young soldiers who left to die.

I stand in grief and remember their pain and fear,

Lift a hand, wipe away a tear.

In silence I bow my head and pray,

Listen to the sounds of gun and band

That would play The Last Post, then Reveille,

And ask for no more war in any land.

In silence I remember their loss of life, limb and blood.

My lone tear becomes a flood.

I remember the terrors they never fled

And think of those returned home in coffins — dead.

I remember in the silence, no sound,

The many who were never found.

I cannot stand by their grave and weep

But I can in my heart a vigil keep.

I stand in the rain and snow and sleet

And hear the pipes and drums that beat.

The drums become their now stilled beating hearts,

The rain their tears shed in far away parts.

For our freedom

They fought in the trenches and mud.

For our freedom

They paid the ultimate price they could.

In quagmire trenches

They fought in cold and flood.

In smells of gas and gun and gangrene stenches

Lay bodies soaked in blood.

They died in the airplanes and drowned in the seas,

Asking only we remember on bended knees.

Do not break faith with those who gave up life

That we may live unencumbered by strife.

The service was over,

The crowds were gone.

A stooped little old lady

Stood all alone.

A fallen red poppy lay on the sod,

By the departing hoards it had been trod.

Though dirty and wet and covered in sands,

She remembered for what that red poppy stands.

With shivering white and wizened hand,

That red poppy she lovingly took and did lift

And raised it rememberingly

To touch quivering lip.

She stood with stooped, unstable stride,

And pinned that red poppy on her lapel with pride.

Then turned to bronzed soldiers on the memorial set,

Patted that red poppy, saluted and said,

“Lest We Forget, Lest We Forget.”

Paton Lodge Lindsay

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