John-Ward Leighton


John-Ward Leighton: The Long Way Round
Photo ©Copyright by John-Ward Leighton
Watched the Colonel’s eulogy
for the RSM of 1RCR
and thought to myself,
as the RSM’s song was being sung,
that in this nation’s memory
he and those that went
before him
would be forever young.

Those heroes and heroines
were at the top of their game
but fate, luck, whatever,
took them just the same.
They missed the brass ring
that those of us still here have found
and been denied the luxury
the long way round.

But have we learned anything
from this brutal cost of life?
Are we allowed to question
the reasons for this strife?
As sure as there is birth
there is the promise of the grave,
and better to die a free man
than to live a long life as a slave.
Some sooner, some later
they have obeyed
our country’s bugle sound
these heroes remain
forever young in our memory
and we thank them
for their gift to us
of a life with
the long way round.