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War Memorial Gardens

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We stand on peaceful pristine lawns
And breathe rose scented air,
Recite our poems and eulogies
And lay our poppies there,
A burst of startled starlings rise
Above the trees at the bugles sound,
As once they did when booming guns
Drew a shudder from the ground.

They died that we might never hear
A shell explode above our head,
Or watch a comrade’s shredded body
Falter, freeze and then fall dead,
That we might not drag sodden boots
Through mire of blood and mud,
And wonder what we were doing there
Or how it could be any good.

Freedom owes a debt to them
That will remain unpaid,
Until war is just a memory,
A memory left to fade,
We stand beside the Memorial stone,
Contemplate the names carved there,
We pray they walk on pristine lawns
And breathe rose scented air.

By Paddy Mulhern