Rosemary Purse-Robinson

THE YOUNGEST HOME GUARD

Their legacy – lopped families
silent men weeping/laconic women
Anzac’s offspring
second-hand warriors smelled

the waste of Gallipoli

rebelled against war

they marched

their enemy:

the mindless

veterans now

of Bastion Point, Vietnam
racist rugby tours
nuclear holocaust potential
bombers of the rainbow

“and the beat goes on”
proximity to-the-bone-bred

the youngest home-guard.

their community:
– Amnesty International
– Volunteer Service Abroad
– Wells For African Women

and when they peeled off
their number over the hill
into the trenches
to stink and perish
did they not think on:

how they wanted their kids to be
in the land of return if rare they came
back to where blood dried quick

and clean – the land of the dreamer
into the sun walking through

“and the beat goes on”
proximity-to-the-bone-bred

the youngest home guard