Death of a soldier


When was that? the old man said.
I knew that man before he was dead.
A soldier a serviceman in armed forces served.
Came home and joined the army reserves.

The story was told of a battle fought.
Of courage or stupidity the answer we sought.
Lives were lost, just numbers all gone.
Young men of Australia in France's Somme.

The funeral was held at the local church.
The widow almost fell as she lurched.
He had survived the conflict and came home.
Was never the same just skin and bone.

When was that? The old man said.
I can tell you over his death bed.
When we were young, our hearts were free.
But we grew old as friends just him and me.

As the coffin lowered down into the dirt.
The widow wiped a tear with the hem of her skirt.
The old man held out a hand and wrapped his arm
around her to make her feel calm.

An old soldier long after the glory.
Remembers the fighting and the gory.
A hero at least in everyone's eyes,
that were attending those sad good byes.

Ella Edwards