Newly returned from Helmand, almost intact,
the Regiment stands to in scattered rain.
City dignatories and citizen privates
remember. They sing: ‘Where, Grave, thy victory?’
The Bishop blesses them all. A boy whimpers.
Old men, straight-backed, march singly into town,
medals jingling like choices. November wind
troubles the eye: remembering mates,
remembering merely being young, not dead
merely. This is a willing grief: forgetting
means that, for principle or custom,
death is merely dying, and the so-called
blood and treasure contract merely words.