Last Post

Spats cover
Polluted boots
With a Sam Browne strapped
To a spit and polish belt
Tightened by the sergeant
Holding him there
Completely trapped.

Deathly still
Mourning losspoppy_203_gif_1_.jpg
Hobnailed by the flagpole
With a drooping ensign
In a two-minute silence
Like three hours on a cross.

Numb lips
This November
And another year
As the guns die down
In posthumous salute
While the note splits
In the mouth of momentary fear. 

The bugle fades
Echoing round
As darkness descends
On Greenwich Mean Time
Across Whitehall
And the sands of an Afghan desert
While Calvary shares the silence.

Crinkled leaves
Float down
On their parachute trip
With legions of poppies
Papered for today
As a tear rolls down
To a stiff upper lip.

Teeth chatter
Feet freeze
With winter ahead
On count down to Reveille
And the beginning of spring
While sheathed swords
Honour the glorious dead.

November 2009
Thoughts during the two-minute silence on Remembrance Sunday in Afghanistan and Britain, linking this to Christ’s sacrifice.

The poem has been published on The War Poetry Website

Click here to listen to the Royal Marines playing Last Post on Remembrance Sunday