TJ (17th June 1958 / England)

The Edgington Boys [two Sides]

I knew them.
Knew them as well as one can know two names engraved,
Side by side in granite, lead inlaid:
Henry and William Alfred, a brace of Edgington boys
Born and bred in Mickleham,
A mere speck on a map so much shorter than its name,
More hamlet than parish or village;
To this day still a little lost in a rare, rural timelessness
That seems to have hung on here against all the odds.
Whilst others capitulated to life in a faster lane
Mickleham has resisted and remained all but the same.

The 'Great War for Civilisation',
Stole a baker's dozen from Mickleham,
Their names solemnly recorded on the front of the memorial:
'To the glory of God and of the Fallen'.

Less than twenty-five years later
That 'War to end all Wars' would prove a horrible misnomer:
A localised precursor to a more murderous successor
And a second side of sad, lead-inlaid letters.

The warning is there if we've eyes that would see:
That leaves two other sides still ready and free....

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Comments (1)

Yes, I can share the emotion here through your writing. I always feel a great deal of melancholy when visiting war graves and reading cenotaph inscriptions. Such dreadful waste. On both sides! Very touching, Tony.