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Peace Begins With Us - A Remembrance Day Poem

Posted by thethreadsthatbindus on November 11, 2011 at 2:40 PM

The rat-a-tat-tat of enemy fire

Startles you awake.

You crouch in the trench with a pounding heart,

Your loved ones' lives at stake.

*

Your friends about you scream and die;

It echoes 'cross the field;

You swear to them you'll win the war,

A promise locked and sealed.

*

And as another shrieks in pain -

A shocked and dying bleat -

You load your rifle, whisper prayers,

And stagger to your feet.

*

A bullet kisses by your ear.

A friend collapses, dead.

You wish in sorrow it had hit

Your temple, or forehead.

*

With a snarl of rage you fire back,

And people drop like flies,

And as you watch, the one who shot

Your friend is hit, and dies.

And when the War is over, done,

You return to your friend's grave.

In your dreams you blame yourself;

His life you might have saved.

*

Staring at the poppies blowing

You study the what-if.

What if you'd refused to fight?

Would that have saved ol' Biff?

*

No, your mind informs you sadly.

No, that it would not.

He would have gone on anyway.

He would have gone and fought.

*

Only if there is no war

Can those lives lost be saved.

If there are battles to be fought,

Then battles will be braved.

*

"So how can such things be prevented?"

You enquire of your mind.

"Just one man cannot create

"From hatred, a friendship bind!"

*

Remind the others of the pain

That fighting war provides.

No one wants to lose their friends,

Their families, or their lives.

*

You've seen a War, your mind goes on.

You know what it can do.

And you look down, and see a blood-red

Poppy by your shoe.

"I'll pick a day," you say, "for us

"To remember those we lost.

"I'll say to them, well, we have peace,

"But this is what it cost.

*

"The Was was ended at eleven

"On the 'leventh of November,

"And all these poppies growing . . .

"I'll use them to help remember."

So the next November 'leventh finds you

Standing on the street.

You're handing out red poppies

And staring at your feet.

*

"Thank you," says a woman, smiling,

"But tell me, what's this for?"

"To remember those," you say to her,

"Who perished in the War."

*

"Were you involved?" she asks with interest,

"Or is this just good will?"

"Lady," you reply, "I fought,

"And I am fighting still.

*

"It just takes one to start a war,

"And two to keep the peace.

"If we agree we don't want war,

"Then maybe wars will cease.

*

"Recording info into books

"Is useless, collecting dust.

"We have to remember those who died,

"'Cause peace begins with us."

*

The woman takes the poppy, and

Pins it to her blouse,

And as she continues past, you say,

"Biff, I kept my vows."

- Diane Morrison, 1986

Categories: Sable's Writings

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