Wind curls the pennants at
A fitful wind
It pokes along the ranks of fresh-cheeked soldiers
Tugs at the ribbons of veterans
And comes to fret
Around the paper poppy on my breast
Seeming curious why one warrior stands so silently apart
In a peaceful land
Mellow in the autumn air
Yesterday another wind spoke other ways
Not of you my land
The hope of the living
The vague hushed fragrances of memory
But of the certain dead
And those who heard them at Bernieres
As they fell
Who have smelled the smell of death?
Who have heard exploding steel expend itself in flesh?
Who have felt primeval fear grind pride into the dust
Or the muck
Writhing and creeping as we have writhed and crept?
Who torn Earth with fainting fingers
In retreat of self and the sudden raking guns?
So far from all of this!
The wind of yesterday engraved
A harsher requiem
than a remembering for us
For us a not forgetting
A solitude that some winds bring
On quiet days
On peaceful days
On undefended shores of night