John-Ward Leighton

11th HOUR?

Changing the Guard: ©Copyright 2008 by John-Ward Leighton
Seaforth Pipe Band: ©Copyright 2008 by John-Ward Leighton
Kids!: ©Copyright 2008 by John-Ward Leighton
At Ease: ©Copyright 2008 by John-Ward Leighton
Screaming the Silence: ©Copyright 2008 by John-Ward Leighton
Someone to Scream At: ©Copyright 2008 by John-Ward Leighton
Hasty Exit: ©Copyright 2008 by John-Ward Leighton
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It rained today
as it usually does
every year I can remember.
Those memories of the past
in the sombre of a wet
November.
Back to days
of King and Country
when mud, wet, hunger and fatigue
were the older of the day.
Why did they do it
those volunteers
of yesteryear?
Why did they go over the top
where machine gun fire
trumped bravery every time?
Why did they live like animals
in the ground
where being dead
almost beat being alive?
We are told that our freedom
is the result
something granted for sacrifice
beyond the call of duty.
I go out every year
dressed in my regimental
and get soaked
and say to myself.
“This is dumb
I could stay home
and watch this on TV.”
In my heart of hearts
I know the reason why
if those brave men and women
could brave the cold and the wet
while under fire
then getting my sorry ass wet
for two hours is no big deal.
It allows me
at least superficially
to know how they felt
and how they suffered
and a way of giving a faint
thanks for the country
they never saw
but paid so much for.
A crazy woman
came screaming into the throng
during our two minutes of silence.
The security people
took her away
in an ambulance.
Poor soul
the country she has
is not so kind
and does much to tell
us we are not there yet
When will we have
our
11th Hour?