[First Post] 151
Auckland New Zealand
ONE HOUR BEFORE THE DAWN
by Rod Walford
She stands alone, small, cold and frail,
A light rain falls on the Cenotaph’s rail
On a cold and bleak foreboding morn,
At just one hour before the dawn.
She feels no pain, she sheds no tears,
Her thoughts transcending through the years;
Her noble head is bowed in prayer,
Stilled in the time she lost him there.......
On a lonely field in a place called hell,
Of battle flame and raining shell,
His injured comrade on his back,
He carried through his grim attack.
Yet fate was cruel - the sniper’s round
That cut her husband to the ground
Served only as a bridge in time
Beyond it’s unforgiving line.........
She may not walk, ere years must pass
But still remains his faithful lass;
No other man his place could take
Nor share her picnic by the lake.
And now on each remembrance morn,
At just one hour before the dawn;
The hallowed hour at which he fell,
His spirit moves, in her to dwell.
As dark horizon turns to grey,
The pipes lament the break of day;
The wreaths of poppies laid with love
Pay homage to the souls above.
She lifts her head now, dignified;
And in her eyes, the glow of pride
For, tightly held in her dear hand
The one that wears his wedding band....
She holds the secret so long cherished
The symbol of a love unperished
And in the dawn light’s ghostly pallor
The simple wording reads “For Valour”.
Bereavement’s shadow drapes its cloak
Around the widow’s heart of oak
Behold! - the weight of tragic loss
She bears as One who bore the Cross.
Unknown, uncounted days remain
Then she’ll be with her love again.
In Heaven’s mirror, brightly viewed,
Her country’s love - and gratitude.
Lest we forget to bear in mind
The ladies who were left behind,
Though age may weary and condemn,
We ever should remember them,
Their courage knows no bounds of time,
Though earthly flesh may wither;
Whoever would true valour see
Let him come hither.
© Rod Walford 1999