By Scott Bailey © 1998
Do not lightly discard them
with tales of the foolish bold.
They sat for weeks, for months, for years
in trenches freezing cold.
Sometimes feet simply mouldered
in the sucking mud.
And now and then they’d rise and run
and spill their loyal blood.
Do not belittle the suffering
of soldiers now long dead.
With nothing but talk and songs and bombs
bursting in their head.
Bound together with chains of love
shattered by leaden death.
They ended as they had begun
with cries upon their breath.
Do not lightly remember them
with only paper flowers.
they faced the fear, the pain, the cold,
for hours and hours and hours.
They ran together and fell alone
upon those foreign fields.
Protecting those they loved
those frightened human shields.
Do not read these words and think
that these things are passed.
Do not think you will not hear
that deep and dreadful blast.
Do not sit in decadence
and take for granted peace.
You owe a debt to those who died
and that debt will never cease.
Originally published in A Spring of Dreams