on that hill

on that hill
anzac day dawn service

the boat

someone was talking
on that hill in the
damp breeze of
dawn of a
battle
one hundred
years ago
a blundered
battle* at dawn,
talking of that
dark hour when
the men leapt
from the gunwales
into the dark water,
a stygian river
true to its tale,
bringing them
to that thin shore
of cove and beach,
of standing room
only, the signs of a
‘pushover’ in those
who held the hills
read wrong as hell,
holding rifles overhead
as they waded shoreward
bobbing like ducks, one
private trod water where
the bottom dipped under
him, went down came up
alone, the others floating
shattered around him, in the
time the waters roared in
his ears they were reaped
in a cast of shells
in that darkest hour
before the dawn that
never came to lift
their eyes again.

will they still
be talking of what
was not stopped,
on that hill
stood before the
coldness of stone
two hundred years,
three hundred years
hence? someone
talking on that hill
of a dawn in a dawn
that will rise much like
this one now
the cloud gathering hard
and high on the east
to weep the
sun away,
prayers
reeled off that
will not wash
one shot away?
forgive us,
father, we
know that
which
we
do

25 april 2015

*gallipoli

Copyright © 2015 Peter Le Baige.  All Rights Reserved

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