Remembrance Sunday Poem

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THE ROWERS


The boat house is all empty

The young men gone away

Leaving only old men at

The boathouse

But no crews to row the boats

Out on the tideway


Week by week they join

The fallen as is the way

Of war

Because it is the young men

And the fit men

That won’t return to row out

In the mornings or evenings

Or at the weekends any more


Favoured oars are exchanged

For weapons

The shells they gather dust

While they who were crews

Of their generation fight

On in the bloody filth of war

Because duty says they must


Set forth a wreath of poppies

Where the river runs on

Straight and true

And let us remember those

Who were once the rowers

Of a generation until that is

Their world was cleaved

And cut right on through


By Kevin Pyne

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