Jim Brown

THE ANZAC ON THE WALL
(Shorter Original Version)

I was wandering in a country town ‘cos I had time to spare;
So I went into an antique shop to see what was in there.
Bikes and pumps and kero lamps, but nearly hidden by it all,
A photo of a soldier – an Anzac on the Wall.

Such an honest open face, a young man in your prime,
And it seemed that when I looked at you, your eyes locked onto mine.
An image proud and confident inside a wooden frame,
I felt myself drawn to you in a way I can’t explain.

“Does the Anzac have a name?” I asked. The old man answered “No,
The ones who could have told me mate have passed on long ago.”
The old man kept on talking and, according to his tale,
The photo was unwanted junk from a clearance sale.

“I asked around,” the old man said, “but no one knows his face,
He’s been on that wall for years, he deserves a better place.
Some one must have loved him, it seems a shame somehow.”
I nodded and said quietly, and said “I’ll take him now.”

So you came home with me mate – too long you’ve been alone
I don’t even know your name mate, but you’re welcome in my home.
Did you fight at Flanders, or perhaps Gallipoli?
I’ll never know the answer, but I know you fought for me.

I wonder where they sent you, when you answered the call;
Were you killed in action. Did you come home at all?
You must have had a family – will you be claimed one day?
To be honest, I hope not mate – ‘cos I want you to stay.

People come to my house, and they question me
And I tell them a white lie, and say you’re family.
They say, “You must be proud of him.” I tell them, one and all,
That that’s why you’ve got pride of place – my Anzac on the Wall.