Remembrance Day

A school excursion to
the recycling centre today - 
among the plastic torsos 
and gentle stench of
a million used milk bottles,
and the processed tree-fibres -
those flat-topped mountains of 
once crisp cardboard.

It's Remembrance Day and here
among yesterday's rubbish,
the children stand
observing a minute's silence
as the bugle sounds the Last Post
in haunting solitude. All those 
young heads bowed and imagining
the historic blood-red petals
of a trampled poppy,
buried in the shadowed corners
and citrus light of a 
far-off French field.

In these fertile minds, 
perhaps winter crouches
in bleak and blurring tones -
easy to mistake foreboding
for a ghostly German tank
or a press of light
through closed lids
for a machine gun's 
glinting snout.

But open your eyes now,
children. The minute
for remembering has passed.
Here, at the Recycling Hub
we attempt to rescue 
the discarded past
and recycle it 
for further usefulness.

6 thoughts on “Remembrance Day

  1. I LOVE this line “
    It’s Remembrance Day and here
    among yesterday’s rubbish,
    the children stand
    observing a minute’s silence”. And the way you’d described the scene. There’s something weird and eerie and off about this poem in a good way

    Liked by 1 person

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