THE SOLDIER ON THE PLINTH

I stand upon my lonely plinth, my eyes a stony gaze
‘Tis here I greet the morning sun, or watch its dying rays
My descendants all stroll past me, with hardly an upward glance
For I am but a victim, who played wars’ game of chance

We came ashore at Anzac Cove, a nation’s funeral pyre
My comrades fell around me, in both dust and mire
Our family read of valiant deeds, but they weren’t told the truth
For the reaper stood upon those slopes and claimed our flower of youth

The generals rolled their dice of death, from an island safe off shore
Till finally they closed the page, on this chapter of the war
We’d been right through the gates of hell, but that just seemed a stunt
For what was yet to greet us, on the western front

We spent three years along the Somme, all we had left was our pride
Till at Villiers Bretonneux, we turned the fatal tide
Pressing through the maelstrom, we prayed for some release
And after four years of this misery, the Germans sued for peace

The world we knew went wild with joy, there was dancing in the street
For we set free the nations, that had only known defeat
Their shackles swiftly cast aside, upon the blood soaked loam
While all our thoughts quickly turned, to the folks we left back home

   

The church bells tolled both loud and long and the wine it all flowed free
But deep down in our troubled souls, lay a sorrow, you could not see
And the poppies of Remembrance, became the symbol of this day
As we hoped for a better life, in the peace that now held sway

Amongst all our rejoicing, we pondered at the cost
As bells and cheers can’t bring back, the sixty thousand lost
Now Christmas dinner, will see an empty chair
For the missing loved ones, of those who still wait there

So may history proudly judge, our noble sacrifice
But the tears of grief will still flow, for those who paid the price
As I wonder each November, looking through my granite mask
Did my comrades die in vain, well, I can only ask

By Tomas ‘Paddy’ Hamilton
6/12/2017

 

FILE IMAGE: Cropped from larger image of the Bronze ‘Digger’ at the Australian Memorial Park, Bullecourt, France, taken by Leading Seaman Justin Brown.

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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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