Image courtesy of Manchester Archives. Shared via a Creative Commons license.
Memorial Sunday, red poppy day
legions in the colonies
parade their Sunday-best, best dress
their lines uneven, their slow step out of sync
marching with wrinkled faces to commemorate
a war they didn’t start, majesty’s ship that didn’t sink
distended necks show a conceited attitude
for having served mother England.
Many died on the killing fields
our memory our master
such is the order of things after independence.
This their annual record of virtue,
meager rations still an issue.
Red poppies embrace the thick feet of cenotaph.
Grey veterans on parade like acolytes
in white surplices between processional pews.
A scrap of history this rite be
after crossing the dumb-bell of sea.
Avow their sovereign duty to discharge
to their comrades who returned and those fallen
their Sunday morning solemn, hearts swollen.
Reuel Lewi is a Guyanese poet and dramatist. He holds a Bsc-Sociology from the University of Guyana and has published in Poui, Guyana Christmas Annual Timbucktu and Small Axe. He lives in Anguilla.