19789  Poems Read Home Login

 Silver Birch

Monte Cassino

August 1997 and the hot Italian sun
both delights and torments
as there is little shade here
high on Monte Cassino.

The very sight of the
Commonwealth War Graves
in the cemetery elicits
very strong emotions.

The sheer number of graves
more than 4,000 almost takes
your breath away. So many
so young. The cemetery is beautifully kept,
shaming the shabby state of our own.

Some of the Gurkha dead
were only fifteen years of age.
Both shocking and incredibly sad.

My son is here with me, and he
is almost fifteen. A boy
much too young to fight
in anybody's war.

My father was here at Cassino
more than fifty years before,
with the British army.

Although he rarely spoke about
the horrors of war he had witnessed,
I remember him telling me that almost
every tree had been blasted to oblivion.

Hard to believe, looking at the
beautiful scenery here today.
Such a peaceful place, yet those
graves are a constant reminder.

My father survived that horrific conflict
unscathed, apart from the mental scars.
Many of his comrades lost their lives.
He never returned to Italy.
Too many bad memories.

So sad. My memories of Italy are almost
entirely good, and I return again and again
to that land of culture, fine cuisine,
fabulous scenery and great works of art.

I shall probably never return to Cassino,
but I am glad that I had the chance to visit.


Copyright Robert Haigh 2021

©2000 - 2021, Individual Authors of the Poetry. All rights reserved by authors.

Visit My Home Page | Start Your Own Poetry Site | PoetryPoem
[ Control Panel ]  [ Today's Poetry - ALL Poets ]   [ Search ]

dreamweaver POETRY BY KRIS ~ DREAMWEAVER - ~WELCOME TO DREAMLAND~ Read my Poems to Know me. I am in my poems.  
poet5170 Poetry by Elsie - *WELCOME TO MY WORLD* ~ Read my poems full of fact, fiction and fantasy.  
poeticjihadabulateefbabatundeamerikkkasmosthatedmuslimpoet Muslims Favorite Poet - Your New Favorite Site Feedback and critique requested  
mykalangelo Poems of Mykalangelo. - Tell me whatever, I'm not here often From poetrypoem.com your life will grow  
Insomnia's Melancholy World - Dark, gothic, mood swings. critique requested.  
welllovedstranger Poetry by welllovedstranger - Feedback and critique requested.  
godspoetwriter Poetry by godspoetwriter - Feedback and critique requested.  

allseasonsverse     poetikalyanointed      dreamweaver      poetry2071      alyare  View All Poets
Newest Item: Cradled Harmony
The sun slips away as I rock you sound asleep Softly humming a melody that ag ... More
Added: 2020-07-23  My Poetry List  PoetryPoem.com      Get a Free Site       Blogs     Stories     Premium Sites