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.