Colin F. Jones

WHILE THEY GATHER TO PRAY
(ANZAC Day 2005)

While they all gather to pray under the fluttering flag,
Having marched up the road that their bodies now sag,
Standing in sunshine or rain or in snow,
Listening to speeches from folk they don’t know,
Then the priests praying, and the singing of hymns,
Before the drinking and partying and two-up begins.
I stand all alone in the twilight of dawn,
Thinking of good mates, with a heart sad and forlorn.
Reliving the actions the friendships the loss,
Silently reflecting on the personal cost,
To my own and the families of those so denied,
Their sons their fathers and their brothers who died.
And the tears run freely down my aging face,
As I stand where I live on the back lawn of my place.