Shot at Dawn

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Very moved by visiting the National Memorial Arboretum; a fittingly organic, non jingoistic, non hierarchical tribute to such service and sacrifice. Particularly moved by ‘The Shot at Dawn’ section. Here’s a poem I wrote some time ago.

Shot at Dawn

Not even a shaver yet.
I am to be your orderly,
when you are beyond help.
You did not run away
Because there is no ‘away’
There is just here,
Where the horizon
Is a thing of the past.
You stand there,
As if put in
The corner by teacher .
A photo of the girl
You were sweet on
Nestles inside your tunic,
Unfledged by love.
The Colonel has spoken
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to dust,
If we can’t count on Tommy,
Then who can we trust.
But I shall not forget you,
Or the look in your eye,
As I start digging
the grave of the next
of you children
We sentence to die.
© Bernard Pearson

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Bernard Pearson

poet & author

Bernard lives in Oswestry, UK. He is published in around one hundred journals and magazines worldwide. He is also a spoken-word performer, finalist in both the John Tripp Spoken Word Competition and The All Wales Comic Verse Competition. Plus a biographer and prize-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in many publications. In 2017 a selection of his poetry ‘In Free Fall’ was published by Leaf by Leaf  Press. In 2019 he won second prize in The Aurora Prize (an international competition in Poetry) for his poem ‘Manor Farm’ and his first novel ‘Where the Willows End‘ was published by Leaf by Leaf Press. His second novel is due out in 2022.

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