For a few years I have written a Poem for Remembrance day. I thought I might try something different and this is my offering this time.
The soldiers last call.
The screams and cries were not from the seagulls of his hometown, but of men. His friends. The cold, muddy earth beneath his nails, not from planting roses, but from digging graves with his hands for his fallen comrades. The sharp cracks, bangs, and the shuddering of the earth were not from the bonfires of his youth. They were the bullets, shells, and grenades from the enemy.
He was writing what he knew was his final letter to his love. The light from each exploding shell above his head just giving him time to scratch out a few words.
As I sit here in hell, the smell of lavender from our garden is still with me. I can, even now at this last hour, taste the salt, blown by the sea across our garden. And from the tears of joy we spilt at the birth of Emily.
Our fingers are still firmly entwined, even as death is pulling with all its might to disentangle me from the comfort of your grasp. It cannot win. The desolation of hopelessness that is rained down on us will never break a love as strong as we have.
My love, it is not just for England that I fight; it is for you, for Emily, for your freedom. It is for the chance to sit once again in our garden and feel the call of the sun as it rises on one more day of freedom.
If this is to be my final resting place, know that I will return to sit with you and Emily again, all of us free from a tyranny that may have overcome us had we not had the courage to fight for those we love.
It is our home, our England, our love that will prevail. Do not cry for me if I do not return, but know that I would do it all again and again to be certain that you both can live in peace.
I must go now. I hear the screams of my friends as clearly as the gulls that call to us from the sea.
The shell pierced his chest and for all eternity stained the soil with yet more blood of an innocent hero. Left on foreign soil but never forgotten.