SACRIFICE     written and read by Janet Brain

He read the call-up papers

and knew he had to go.

He’d leave his family home,

How long for? He didn’t know.


His mother watched him walk away

in silence, and dry-eyed.

Her boy was now a man.

She felt sadness, fear, and pride.


Crouching in the trenches,

amid the mud and rain.

He read the longed-for letter

from home, just once again.


The carnage of those young men,

their lives so soon to end.

The heartbreak of their loved ones,

not even time can mend.


The silence of those trenches,

where men will talk no more.

No more the thundering of the guns.

No more the sounds of war.


Standing here and looking

at his name upon this stone.

Thinking of this one among

so many, far from home.


I think of all their terror,

their turmoil, sweat and blood.

The thousands of them lost,

lying broken in the mud.


And from that mud, a seedling

springs up in memory,

For each and every soldier,

a flower, a red poppy.

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