NORMANDY JUNE 2014
Here stones stand rigidly to attention,
Row upon row, pristine, off-white;
Measured, each to the same height,
All equidistance apart.
Each stone carefully engraved the same:
Number, rank and name of fallen comrade,
Someone’s son, lover, husband, brother
The orderliness of their burying
Belying the unutterable chaos of their dying.
They were not asked to die for the cause
But to kill, or be killed.
The survivors, who did not have the honour
Of being killed in battle,
Had no time to mourn their fallen friends.
It seems so long ago now, yet seventy years on
They still re-visit the killing fields
And, choosing not to talk
Of their own heroism or hell –
Weep soft tears of remembrance.
By Lynn Trowbridge