Remembrance Day is an important day for my family. My husband’s currently serving in the military and has had colleagues who died while on duty. We both have family members who served, most notably our maternal grandfathers. As a result, Remembrance services are highly emotional events for us, something I’ve tried to capture in the following poem.
I wish I could hold your hand
This bright November morning.
As silence comes after the bugler’s call
And we’re standing side by side.
Just two people in this crowd
Remembering those who didn’t make it.
Praying for those who can’t shake it.
Asking ourselves if it was worth it.
There are many couples here
Who seem the same as us.
One still serving, standing proud in uniform,
The other fighting back tears.
Each feeling their unique pain.
Missing all those who didn’t make it.
Caring for those who can’t shake it.
Afraid that it was never worth it.
It’s not a perfect quiet.
The hum of distant traffic,
Flags fluttering overhead in the cold breeze,
The sound of muffled weeping,
Background music for our thoughts.
Thinking of those who didn’t make it.
Fearing for those who can’t shake it.
Questioning whether it was worth it.
The pipes shatter the silence,
With Flowers of the Forest.
A memory: caskets come down the ramp
On an orange summer’s eve.
We were there together too.
Honouring those who didn’t make it.
Worrying for those who couldn’t shake it.
Doubting that it was ever worth it.
Then the bugler plays once more,
Rousing us to the present.
It’s almost time to carry on, my dear,
To warm our hearts and souls.
To drink and eat together.
Toasting those who didn’t make it.
Supporting those who can’t shake it.
Vowing to ensure it was worth it.
Copyright Jessica Allyson 2018