I see you still

I see you still,

dim, yes,

but always beautiful

and serene

in your starched uniform

that was the source of our

family and national pride.

 

I see you as an effigy now,

for that is all that

is left of your smile

and your unkempt

flow of amber hair

that drove me mad

but now drives me to tears.

 

Let me look at you

in your muddied grave,

with your eyes blue as

the summer sky

over the Isle

where you lived passionately

and dreamed of days

beyond the war.

 

“The Empire needs you!”

was the call,

and so you did your duty

like all the men that

keep you company

in your eternal bed.

 

O yes, I see you still,

an apparition from

my past and the future;

and you haunt me

in your whispering call

that says forlorn:

“No more! No more!

The guns! The stench!

No more of God , King

and blood England!

No more of being sold

as meat on the

general’s table!”

 

No more is the call.

 

I hear you, my darling,

and see your plea

in the dimness of the

cold winter light of

the Somme’s dreadful doom.

 

18/2/2017