Lest we forget

Thoughts of a Service Man on Parade
Old men,
trying to look important with their ancient uniforms,
their medals,
with a light of their own.
Children look in awe but not understanding
what these men fought for.

Old Commanders, Lieutenants and Privates,
thinking about what they did,
fighting for their country, honour and lives
and hoping that nothing like it would ever happen again.
Remembering those days in the trenches
that they fought,
bombs exploding,
the bang still ringing in their ears.
The question “why did they do it”,
has already been answered.
They did it for peace.

They look at us sadly, knowing,
that we could never understand,
about what happened in those terrible times,
in the trenches.
The smell of urine and blood hanging, staying,
along with the dead,
the acidic taste of gas in the soldiers’ mouths.

But today they come to stand,
in front of everyone,
and are thankful that the crowd realise
that these men are the ones who fought in the war,
for love,
and us.
Conor Leisky
(Previously published in The Causeway, Herald Island. May, 2006)

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