Monumental

 

                                                    MONUMENTAL

                                           Western Hill.     Monument.

                                     Straight as a die, white as a bone.

                                                   Lest we forget.

                                    Modest plaques spell out their names:

                                   boys who knew to dot ‘I’s and cross ‘t’s,

                                  put ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c,’ not forget

                                      full stops. Ypres. The Somme. Fromelles.

                                                           Lost at sea.

                                                               1925.

                                              Architect, General, Builder, Mayor,

                                              smiling still up on Western Hill

                                                 for the camera, which blinks

                                                      like an eye.

                                                               2015.

                                              Pre-dawn drizzle. Cars left empty.

                                                Dripping brollies, bowed heads:

                                                    the last phantom note.

                                                           Lest we forget.

                                          Her son tugs her coat.  ‘Ssh! Not yet!’

                                             Snub nosed impudent face,

                                                upthrust middle finger:

                                          straight as a die, white as a bone.

                                                                         (Dorothy Simmons)​

 

This poem was published in Tamba, 2017, in Shepparton, Victoria.

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