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The Cenotaph

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: April 03, 2014

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Plastic poppies scattered in flower beds, Anonymous symbols, their epitaph; Mockery of life, payment for bloodshed, Nothing but this weathered stone cenotaph.

The poppies are jaded, some lost their face, Mown down by rain beneath the bulging stone; Posthumous tokens, lives none can replace, In silence, cast as history`s Unknown.

The names are not forgotten by mourners, Weeping for the bleached bones of mispent lives.

Abandoned, the grieving sons and daughters And the tears of parents and widowed wives.

Answering call of duty, young men fresh, Families their husbands, mothers their sons To ill-timed death, stilling their pulsing flesh At Ypres, Flanders, the Somme and hell of Mons.

Waiting for my bus, I reached out and plucked A poppy out of the soil of their birth.

I felt despair swell within the soil`s rucks, As if in blood-soaked trenches in the earth.

It ripped me like a petal torn from stem, Rapidly replanting the broken heart For fear I had shown an insult to them, They who by shell and gunfire had torn apart.

Patriotic pansies, red, white and blue

For the young men, lost on foreign ground.

Trench warfare, a human hell was in view, Thousands drowning in mud and never found.

Flanders, poppies embraced fields of crimson Where men were gassed and burned before they died:

Poppies drip with blood and its orisons, I swear I felt pain and silently cried.

Consumed by worms of war, no names are here; Young men, in a patriotic season Signed up, died and fell like children's tears, Loyally displayed beyond all reason.

"We shall never forget, glory of God",

Reads Cenotaph, in silent platitude,

For young lives lost in the blood-soaked sod, A generation dead - what gratitude?

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