One More Plaque – by David Mead

I have lived and worked overseas for many years, mainly in Cambodia, and am back

briefly in Australia.

 

One of my current trades is poetry and I composed two pieces relative to the

Memorial Walk a few years ago.

 

One More Plaque

 

Late sunlight filters through the trees,

Across bronze plaques beneath,

The northeast breeze stirs young leaves,

Greens and golds form a living wreath.

 

The regimental crest surmounts each plaque,

Number, rank, name, battalion, the date,

Facing out, silent, in fading light,

Back in the jungle, ‘standing to’ with a mate.

——

 

Some find comfort that the cause was just,

That they served their nation truly,

But their ‘duty first’ was to team and to task,

And they held to that duty dearly.

——-

 

The trees guard the spirits of those beneath,

Lost comrades, a good friend, “My mate!”

And when we that are left have passed from sight,

We’ll share a picket with pride, to see out the night.

——-

 

Families who come to reflect on a loved one,

“Father”, “My husband”, “My brother”, “Our son”,

Know the memory, his name will ever live on,

With diggers, our soldiers, still just as young,

Still willing to die for the mate at their side,

Still wearing as they did,

That same badge, with such pride.

——-

 

And you who would send men, may you walk this path,

Among our young heroes, now departed,

Walk down the groves of conflict time,

Reflect on our losses, precious lives bartered,

And pray for such wisdom, never to see,

Even one more plaque, by one more tree.

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