Anthony W. Pahl

THE STONE

There is a memorial, just a brown stone,
with a bronze plaque inscribed,
“They didn’t come home.”
It sits without signs to show where it is;
It’s mostly in long grass and it’s easy to miss.
It’s about the width of a tin billy lid,
about as high as my shins so it’s really not big.
No names are inscribed; no theatre of war;
no real or clear signs to tell what it’s for.
Not even rating a line in a book;
and very few people know just where to look.
It’s a lonely and sad place – and I sit all alone
with my back to a tree while I stare at that stone
remembering the reason I put the stone there;
to honour my friends and to show that I care.

The stone’s in my heart; the plaque’s in my mind,
The grass is the growth of the cobwebs of time.
It’s the width of my dread and the height of my pain
and I keep it inside me where it will remain.
Nobody but me knows just where it’s kept
but oft in my solitude sadly I’ve wept
recalling my friends who died for our gain
and of those who’ve succumb to life’s grievous pain.