Armistice Day

Lining up for Armistice Day Parade the old soldiers missed their mates

Chalky, Curly, Lofty, Tiny and Bill.

There were spaces left which they would once have filled.

The members of the Band of Brothers stood together

Shoulder to Shoulder, fighting shadows once again.

The years between then and now have gone –

But the shadows remain, haunting their dreams.

At night they toss and turn, hearing the whistling of shells,

Smelling the acrid smell of cordite and mustard gas

Floating on the breeze.

“My eyes! My eyes!” The screams of dying and blinded men

Follow the living down the years, and the night-time screams

Of these living men echo through eternity

As they beg their God to take the pain away,

Take the war away.

The bugle sounds and poppies petals fall,

Turning the ground red as blood

As the old soldiers salute in silence

Then march away, carrying their silence

To the grave.

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