The long dead soldier on the Cenotaph
Lies above each scarlet wreath
Precisely placed by each dignitary
On that stone plinth beneath.
A solitary bugle pours out
The haunting liquid sounds
Of tribute and remembrance
Into those streets all around.
The veterans stand at attention,
Fewer of them each passing year;
Sometimes a ramrod back
Is topped by a face near tears.
Veterans of newer wars
Now make their numbers swell,
Separated by many years
United by combat's hell.
The silence is broken. The parade
Disassembles and is soon gone.
Just groups of silent individuals
For a short while linger on.
A broken poppy falls
Unnoticed to the street
To be bruised and trampled on
By unknowing uncaring feet.
Those wreathes of Flanders Poppies
Will in time be moved and cleared
Until the next parade
The next passed year.
Lip service having been paid,
The politicians having the right,
With no lessons really learned
Will still despatch our boys to fight