Dawn W. Pope

LEST WE FORGET

Lest we forget
He was only a boy
Marching off to war
Off to do his patriotic duty
Bursting with pride
A light in his eyes
Answering the clarion call to arms
“Keep the home fires burning
It’ll be over before you know it.”

They stood in valour
Kindling the torch
Of a fiery cross to bear
They were the ones
Who shouted the rallying cry
Treading a path unknown
They plunged headlong in hasty pursuit
To clash with a faceless enemy
Lest we forget.

Engaged in warfare
They battled in the trenches
On the plains
In the mud and snow
Water up to their knees
They slept standing up
Crawled on their bellies
In the heat, the filth, the cold and wet
Lest we forget.

They fought at Passchendaele
Vimy Ridge, Dieppe and Ypres
They battled in Normandy
In Dunkirk, and Falaise
Left their dead in Flanders
Ortona, Juno Beach and the Somme
And in their minds eyes, they still can see
Kap’yong, Iwo Jima and Okinawa
Lest we forget.

The conflict rages all around
Smote the enemy!
Cut him down!
Impervious to the piercing pain
The strangled gurgle of a blood-red death
They lost the struggle
And were dispatched into deaths’ embrace
Forfeiting their life on a battleground
Lest we forget.

Bodies bent and broken
Rendered useless
Carried home in a basket
Lives extinguished … erased
Life before them changed … altered
Riddled with regrets
For the dead are still dead
They breath no more
And they can’t forget!

Someone has to tell the story
Else, what good the sacrifices made
Of those who crossed that thin red line
For, if we forget …
If we let that memory
Hold so little value
Then who will carry on
If we forget?