As we mark Armistice Day and remember those who sacrificed their lives so that we may live ours, I want to share with you a moving poem which I recently came across. What really touched me was in the way in which it portrays a terrifying aspect of war that is so rarely seen yet must be so often felt; that of fear. Beautifully written by Paul J. Smitham, the words vividly paint a picture which has left an impression on me that will last long after the last post is sounded.
Time to go.
‘Is it time to go sir?’
‘It is son.’
‘But who will miss me sir?’
‘You will be missed dearly son.’
‘My mother sir, will she miss me?’
‘Yes, she will son.’
‘My father sir, will he miss me?’
‘Yes, he will son.’
‘My darling Irene, my little Rosie, will she ever know me?’
‘She will, son. She will see you in the rising and the setting of the sun. She will see you in the rain and through the tears of those who love and have loved you.
Hear that bugle son? That’s for you, every year you will be missed but loved forever.’
‘But I’m afraid sir.’
‘Come now lad, it’s time to go, no need for fear. Take my hand, let’s walk together through this sea of red and onward, don’t look back now, onward lad, onward.’
Paul J. Smitham