Flanders Revisited

Down roads of remembrance, our footsteps oft stray
Thru the dusk at the close of a long Autumn day;
To No-man’s or Flanders, where poppies flaunt red;
To the Garden of Courage, the graves of our dead.
Then up thru the air, it is only a prayer,
But a blessing has fallen on somebody’s head.

We have but remembrance to cherish and last,
But a wee thread of memory to cling to the past.
Does a cross mark his grave where silent he lies
‘Neath the brown of the earth, ‘neath the blue of the skies?
Night time is falling – it seems he is calling;
But the voice of the night wind is all that replies.

Dear loved one in Flanders, how often I long
For a touch of the hand that was steady and strong;
A word or a whisper; a moment to see,
Just one glimpse of those eyes and that smile brave and free.
I look up with joy: is it, is it my boy?
No, only the rustling of leaves answers me.

And on thru the hours when the midnight is deep,
Now I smile, now I stir, in the midst of my sleep.
In sorrow, in gladness, my memory takes wing
Unto yesterday’s pathways where red poppies spring;
Where crosses on row – and my soldier below -,
Ah dear Road of Remembrance what comfort you bring!

– Circa 1934

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