Help for Heroes http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/
This poem in its rambling fractured style is meant to reflect the mood and memories of a wounded soldier of unspecified age and unspecified war.
I once asked a youthful love
to remember me.
To remember me
in every minute of her day.
I made a promise
to remember her.
Did she remember me?
Does anyone remember me?
Cry out “I remember!” if you do.
And in remembering, remember ‘us’ too.
I remember ‘us’ in my waking and my sleeping
I remember ‘us’ in every minute of my day.
That band of thrown together ‘us’ –
Our friendships forged in foreign land.
Across ground rent by battle our torn feet fell,
in foul mire slipping; seeking
Silence. And escape from hell.
Faith destroyed, we lost our way –
forgot to stop; forgot to pray.
Shivering, we lay, shattered –
shot through with seering pain.
And exhausted; slept,
beneath a heavy, choking rain.
“Get up! Push on!”
And weeping, up we lept,
To stagger forward, on and together on,
midst ricochetting, screaming death, poised
waiting to snatch our breath.
In dark gloom, fog and shrieking noise
we ‘pressed on,’
the earth exploding burst,
spitting sand shards into eyes,
and lips grit-crusted, mocking thirst.
I hear her voice, a melodic memory, in my hollowed ears.
And whilst falling, with intense rush I sudden remember me,
in flickering flashbacks; cine
moments – tossed chaotic – adrift on life’s lost sea.
In a nighmare, black, I wake
my eyes on fire.
Somewhere, a muffled half-heard singing, that I strain to hear
with ears ruptured by the blast.
Somewhere, sweet scent blows through open window –
green fields, gorse and honeysuckle.
Somewhere, in dreams I walk, with red balloon.
Red dripping blood. Red haemorrhaging into sand.
Remember me! I cry! Remember! … re-mem–ber –
morphine’s gentle push down slumber slide.
Later, much much later, my fingers find
her last letter; paper crisp
against my heart.
Unread and unanswered.
Years on, unanswered still.
Did she remember me?
As autumn’s curtain draws on summer
And birds soar in sweeping last farewell,
Like leaves that float and turning fall
let luck grasp at memories dropping through zephyr breeze
and let us pause to remember
those whom I did not join,
the nation’s fallen bravest best.
Remember them, the dead.
But also remember me, the living –