THE FAKE MASK by Pete Brammer

THE FAKE MASK by Pete Brammer

 

I have turned my back on the ones I love,

Carefully closing the garden gate,

Tramping my way with a tear in the eye,

To where, my future awaits.

I turn and wave, then let my arm fall,

As family wave back, from beyond the wall.

 

In uniform proud, I head for the front,

To the battle that has to be won,

But will I join the ones who will die?

Those fathers, uncles and sons,

‘Pray God I be spared’ is all that I ask,

Since leaving my home, I have dropped the fake mask.

 

A mask that said, ‘I am not afraid’

For behind it lay fear, and great dread,

I have witnessed friends and comrades, so many,

Seriously wounded and dead,

So reverently, their remains, were duly sent back,

I don’t want to be a name, on a memorial plaque.

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A private return from war by Antony Burrows

A private return from war

by Antony Burrows

 

In the stillness of bonfire breezes

Dutifully winding lanes lined,

And avenues ranked ,over tidy doorsteps, 

Down cobblestone washed streets,

Through willow weeping gates and ginnels…I pass by.

 

                                           

I pass by, in laurel, a green boned yeoman, who drilled

And scattered once, in dominion warrior lands, sown

Latent seed ,reaped proud stalks in evening light,

Then cut down in raw war dark dawn…I wave bye.

 

I wave bye, reflective in autumn pastels, paused,

Hand delivered opened to find, tears captured as fallen leaves,

And destined to be, shuttered off in sepia memories,

Parlour drawn, mantle resting piece…I look by.

 

I look by, finding lovers, brothers, mothers,

Received with stoic black poppy pride,

Prayed silence, a crown of Portland stone,

Stories of valour, pals together, alone…I stand by.

 

I stand by, and you may say, did I not know,

As does the oak, young sapling ?,

Felled in the warmth of new life,

No acorns rising, nestling under moss,

Only the cold pastures of death and loss,

And I ask why ?.  

 

Antony Burrows