At the going down of the sun they arise - re-membering
Those who fell unforgotten, those unnamed, unfound
Shaking the ethereal dust from serge and Bedford corded trousers,
Smoothing the lines in greyback flannel shirts.
Absentmindedly polishing brass buttons on the palms of their hand.
Easing off the bandoliers long empty of ammunition
Stretching, as those long asleep, embracing the horizon.
Casting no shadows in the glow of the dying sun.
Brothers find brothers, handclasps of friendship
they stand listening to the silence of a different summer.
Those who stood and served now stand and pause.
Unbuckling putties, shrugging jackets
they hitch each trouser leg and fold each flanneled arm
to knees and elbows
Peak of the trenchcap pushed high on the forehead
Farmboys and miners, Navvies and scholars
reliving other summers.
Trout waiting to be tickled in the turning of the brook,
Resting places in the shade of oaks where phantom steeds
have shook off their traces and humph in companionable silence.
Scents of carbolic and baccy hover over wheat fields.
Where wanderers absentmindedly crush the kernels in the palm of the hand.
Declaring the harvest ready for the cut.
Crimson drops of poppies scattered through the gold.
Their lives already given for the day we call tomorrow.
They choose their memories from other yesterdays.
And rest in the going down of the sun.
And in the tomorrows that fill our lives
We will remember them.