The Eleventh Day, the Eleventh Hour
Symbolised by a small red flower
Which grew beside the scene.
A hush descends, the shuffles cease
As each one present remembers them;
Those who lived, those who cried,
Those who suffered, those who died
Amid the crimson hue.
The Eleventh Hour. The strokes sound strong.
Strong as the army now marching along
The paths of heaven’s fields.
The note rings true, in memory of all of
Those heroic hearts which beat as one
In the corporate breast of valour:
Those sleeping souls who murmur from the past,
Gone to their graves like beds.
The veteran stands and weeps salt tears
As he relives the sweat, the stench, the fear,
The mud, the toil, the endless night survived.
The flesh wounds healed within twelve months
But the years have not cured the thoughts
Which eternally well up and curse
The name of God, and nurse
Perpetual grudge against that machinery
Which took his comrades’ lives.
The widow, frail, with fingers slim,
Clutches the medals gained by him
Who laughed, who danced, who loved.
She stands and stares; her eyes grown dull
By the years. Bearing her torture
With heaves and sighs and thoughts
Of the day before the yesterday he died.
The children to attention stand
Uniforms bright with flags in hand,
They bow their heads in prayer
They stand for Hope – the cause
For the fight – they stand for Tomorrow:
Unaware that they stand today
Because a poppy fell yesterday
And now lies withered.