You stand, one at each corner,
Poignantly bearing proud testimony
To the valour of “The Fallen”.
In unison, your heads bow
As the gun booms
And silence, pall-like
Enshrouds the streets of Liverpool.
For more than eighty years,
Young and old, able and disabled,
From every strata of society,
Have gathered in this place of pilgrimage
Where sadness and solace intertwine.
Thoughts turn to wars of yesteryear
And the ever-haunting images
Of loved ones in on-going conflicts.
On some faces, uncontrollable emotions
Give easy lie to souls’ distress.
Others, mask-like, hide their inner torment.
Perhaps the surrogate’s mantle gently falls
On shoulders of one young escort,
As immobile as the bronze military reliefs
Frozen on the façade of our Cenotaph.
Two minutes – an eternity.
And then, the gun booms – again.