Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Max Richards

Anzac Day 2012

Another chance missed
of attending Dawn Parade.

This time, instead
of sleeping in, I wake

early to rain, bow my head
to its sound, not the Last Post.

My nephew's class, he tells me,
have been learning about

soldiering and history.
Did I know why the brim

turns up on the Diggers'
felt hats? Because when

they lifted their rifles
to their shoulders, biff

and the hats would fly off.
Yes, I say, and yet

when I was eighteen
I was a foot-soldier

in the New Zealand Army,
and our felt hats had brims

not turned up, lemon-squeezers
everyone called them --

we drilled, we sloped arms,
no-one's hat went flying.

No, in my day there weren't
wars to be sent to. Lucky!

I offer to mimic the Last Post
(in a Chinese restaurant

it's my portable aural
Shrine of Remembrance)

but he lets me off.
Two lucky generations,

mine and his, 'sacrifice'
mere lip-service.


No comments:

Post a Comment