The Last Post

Clouds drift; distant, the birds sing.
The courtyard sunk in silence sits.
Somewhere cars continue the day,
and floating in the distance thoughts
of mateship dearly bought, and peace
woven where no need for war
had driven us to foreign shores,
repeat: We shall remember them.

This has no glory, only silence.
And in the silence fit
a thousand thoughts and prayers,
a million unremembered things,
a cove too far away.
At the going down of the sun – remember.
Remember the dawn and the children who lied,
the stories we told to justify.
Remember the lines that we drew in soil,
and the poppies in fields, dancing peace.

Lest we forget: a hundred years is short enough
and long enough to twist and deny.
The silence ends. Too soon the bugle calls the flag’s ascent.
Some twist their heads. Some do not know.
Let the children come and hear
the trumpet of no retreat.

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