Ashley Hawkes

Rookie (12.11.83 / Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand)

Our Young Men Blew - Poem by Ashley Hawkes

A man works in a Northern field
Where once there stood a meadow
On his brow a dry straw hat
Behind him lags his shadow

Forty Summers been and gone
He's determined it's not his last
But it was twice as many years before
This ground felt cannon blast

It was upon this bitten earth they fell
As the willow sheds her blossom
Our young men blew across the mud
As the wind blows through the cotton

This man sets down his hat and spade
Hungry children call him south
The thought of Autumn on his mind
Taste of ale in his mouth

He pauses for a final rest
Late day comes early night
He sees the cenotaph on a Western hill
His boys pick up the fight

Now here we stand with our cherished young
We water our earth with sweat
He rises in the East to squeeze our hand
With warmth, lest we forget

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 24, 2006

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