Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance day

I miss you, old man
As I sit here remembering
The day we met
Right here at this bar
The bar we’ve met at every year since
Recognising something in each other
That brought us together

There we were, old man
Remembering together
As you do on days such as that
Such as this
Fresh back from the parade
Drinking together
A generation apart
Closer than many could be

You told me of yours
I told you of mine

You spoke of trenches
Of comradeship
Of that feeling you all had
The patriotic call
The belief in what you were doing
When it began

And then you spoke of horror
Of bodies
Of bloodstained mud
Of mortar fire and midnight rifles
Of disease and cold

You spoke of disillusionment
And then of comfort taken
In bonds made between those that were there
And the feeling beneath
That of all the wrong that was done
It was done for the greater good

And I envied you that conviction, old man
That comfort
As I told you of fear
Of hot jungle rain
Of confusion
Of silent death creeping through trees

I told you of times with no comfort
No sense of right and wrong
Just alive
And not

And there were things I didn’t tell you
Though I know you no doubt knew
And I thank you for not asking
For allowing me not to speak

Of villages destroyed
Out of suspicion
Or of children shot
Out of fear

And of…

But I looked for you today old man
Unsure if this year would be the one
Knowing your time would come some day
As they all do
Realising I had hoped it would be later

Always later

And I miss you this year, old man
But still, here I sit
A glass of neat whisky next to mine on the bar
And I’m listening to the world change again
Hearing people make that call again
Wondering what tomorrow will look like

I miss you, old man
Old friend
But it’s possible I might see you again
Sooner than either would have hoped

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