Remember Me

Remember Me 

Ten decades ago

the World went

to war

in the War

to end all wars

but the problem is

it didn’t.

16 million lives

lay poppy-strewn

on fields drenched in blood.

Futures stolen.

Dreams lost.

Lives seeping

into soil

at Ypres,

the Somme,

Verdun,

Cambrai,

Marne.

A quarter

of a million

boys went

to war,

‘For King

and Country.’

They went

to change

the world.

Those who returned

came back

hollow eyed.

Their hope

eaten by

the teeth

of the trenches.

Such a

bloody

waste

of life.

That Great War

was not

a great war.

It was a Great Slaughter.

Aren’t all wars?

Isn’t slaughter

a better word

even if it is more

offensive.?

So I stand

holding a poppy.

Small,

red

poppy.

Beautiful

in it’s simplicity.

Blood red….

Birthed in fields

where once young men

became old before

their time.

Its leaf

pointed to 11

to remind me

of the moment that it stopped.

I want to meet the parents

who lost their children

and tell them

I admire them.

I want them to know

they had more courage,

more valour,

more everything than me.

What would I have done?

Saluted my boy as he walked away?

Stood proud and tall?

Or would I have

Gripped his sleeve?

Begged him not to go?

Pleaded with him to stay?

That war

made heroes

of mothers

who lost their boys,

fathers

who lost their friends.

It did not

matter whether

you were

French

or German

or British

or Australian

or Italian.

Humanity trumps nationality,

at least it should.

The enemy lines reached into

homes from Derry to Dusseldorf

From Sydney to the Seine.

The world was shrouded in black

What then

of the hope

 of Christ

that swords

would be ploughshares,

that chains

would be broken,

that peace

would reign?

That hope lay buried

in the dark soil of men’s hatred.

But look further back.

Not ten decades

but ten times ten

and ten times nine

and see the answer

to this bloodletting there.

Another young man’s blood

seeped into the soil.

It soaked the ground,

saturated the earth,

changed the world.

Innocent.

Beautiful.

Perfect.

Son.

Loved by His Father.

Cherished by His mother.

Betrayed by his His friends.

Butchered by his own.

Bearing a weight

not His to bear,

He sank His love

into the soil

and cried

for forgiveness.

He carried the very hatred

that we have held onto.

He emptied the gun.

He defused the bomb.

He took the bullet

for us,

for the world.

The darkness

was absorbed

by Him

but we

have loved

the dark

more

than the Light,

so we

continue

to the plunge

the world

into darkness.

We do it with our words.

We do it as nations.

We do it as people.

But God has borne this pain.
He has carried this weight.

He has cracked the seal on our hatred.

It is us that will not let go.

So tonight

 if you remember

the sons

and daughters

that died

remember this Son.

This beautiful perfect Son.

This One who bore it all

and offers His life

to you and

to me.

Let your tears

be offered

at the foot

of His cross

because His suffering,

His death,

His pain is deeper

than anything

we have seen

or known.

And in it

we find hope.

His pit was

deeper

than Ypres,

deeper

than the Somme,

deeper

than Verdun,

deeper

than Cambrai

deeper than  the

trenches at Marne.

His love

is the only love

that can break

this curse of hatred.

His cross

stands

still.

Offering life.

Offering hope.

Offering peace

to all.

‘Remember me.’

‘Remember me’

‘Remember me’

© Malcolm Duncan November 9th 2014

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