For those who died
by Ted Harben
If pale at the concrete centre of town
There stood on Remembrance Day,
A soldier in blood-stained battle-dress
With a tin, and a poppy tray,
Could you hurry by with head held high
With never a glance his way
At his wounded side, his hands, his feet
And his face a ghastly grey?
Could you close your eyes to the sickly sight
Of a Lazarus prised from the grave?
One who had trudged through the gates of Hell,
To be counted a soldier brave?
The ghost of a man, with a rattling can,
Long ago destined to die,
And his own rich blood, the flowers of love,
On offer for you to buy
Could you look him straight and meanly state;
'I'm sorry I have no change'?
Or search your purse for the smallest coin,
And for this a poppy exchange;
Pretend that you had not noticed him there?
Pass by on the other side?
And ignore the rebuke of his ghostly cry:
'It was for you - I died'?
Copyright © Ted Harben 2010
Taken from www.thisisull.com/poetry