WWI commemoration – Armistice Day

Today we remember.

War is harsh, brutal, not glorious – but in this imperfect world sometimes it is the only option left. It pulls in men and women (and dogs and horses) who in other circumstances would never have raised a hand to another person, it asks of them great courage and great humility. Please God none of us will have the same asked of us.

To mark today, I offer simply this poem. A poor thing but mine own.

It will not be the same

It will not be the same for us as for other lovers.
There’ll be no babe born when you’re nine months absent,
Six of them maybe spent under cold clay.
Nor will I share your picture with the men.
They’ll say, “This is Mary.
And young Tom.”
We’ll smile and say he’s the image of his dad.
“This is my Dora. We’ll be wed, soon as I’m home.”
We’ll toast them with watery tea, trying not to show
We don’t believe he’ll ever get back.
They’ll never hear,
“This is my Freddie. Isn’t he a peach?”
And yet our blood is just as red
And it’ll flow just as freely when the bullets fly
We’ll give our lives the same
For our country
For our families
For the sake of those who condemn us and want us dead
We’ll die to keep them safe,
Not to satisfy a god they’ve made in their own image.
It will not be the same for us as for other lovers.
But you are no less a man because of me
And I am not diminished because of you.

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