a poem by ROY Douglas KNEALE, UK

Seventy years have barely dimmed the hardships known
With those who, wartime whim decreed, were met.
Now, creased by age, as I pause to reflect alone
I dream of a reunion day – and yet
Gazing out from faces on a photograph
In poses that defy time's grinding wear
Which, of those depicted, grace some Cenotaph?
Or (of that young class) yet breathe the air?

Who, of those with once I shared a comrade's role
Attained to heights of grand aplomb
Sufficient for the reaching of some lofty goal?
Or perchance to turpitude succumb?
International conflict drew a carefree throng
To form our temporary bond
Then scattered us, before we'd sounded right from wrong,
To corners of the Empire and beyond.

Soon enough a grave will hold each soul's remains
And somewhere in this same Earth's bowels will then all be;
That erstwhile merry youthful band of fearless strains
Who, leaving hearth and home, befriended me.


Cat. No. G452.

[In memory of those I served with in WW2. RDK.Oct.2012.]

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