THE CITIZENS’ ARMY


Dawn on the auto route and the surprise

of place names: Thiepval, Bapaume – Kitchener’s

nonchalant, Citizens’ Army rising,

at breakfast time, to walk unwaveringly

into the cross-wires of machine gun sights.

 

The First World War dead of Sharp Street, Hull,

have their own memorial – enamel

on tinplate behind glass with French, Haig,

Foch and Beatty like seraphs at its corners.

 

Through Flanders, there is a danse macabre:

graveyards are laid out like city streets, rows

of white and well kept stone.

 

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