ANZAC Day 2013

Cold pre-dawn air. Stamping feet. My breath puffs out in visible clouds of steam. The sun begins to rise. The bugle plays the Last Post. Chills run through my body though I am wrapped tightly. A voice splits the minute of silence: Amazing Grace. Tears track warm streaks down my face and drip into the dew-damp grass below my feet. So many lives. So many wars. Too many loved ones left behind. We gather to remember their sacrifice. We gather in honour of those who still serve (lots of love to you Christy-Lee).

Lest we forget.

I wrote this poem many years ago when I returned from an ANZAC service. What must it have been like to be left behind while the man you loved marched off into the unknown to serve his country. How could you sustain yourself. How much love does it take to bind you together across the sea, the time, the loss. What do you say to a world, offer to the universe, in the hope that he would come home safe.

Home Port

I’m waiting for you, pacing the shore
Watching the moonlight play
I can hold my heart back for hours
But at night I close my eyes and pray

Bring him home to me
Where I can keep him safe
Let him run back to my arms
I can’t bear this empty space
My heart is cold like the ocean in wintertime
Bring him home to me, so I can make him mine

I couldn’t watch you leave that day
Couldn’t wave you goodbye
We had our own ritual for safe journey
On that final night
I’m keeping your place for you
So you better be keeping mine
Make sure you come back to me
All I’m asking for is more time

Bring him home to me
Where I can keep him safe
Let him run back to my arms
I can’t bear this empty space
My heart is cold like the ocean in wintertime
Bring him home to me, so I can make him mine

Don’t leave me on this shore alone
I’m standing here, holding my heart
Waiting for you to come home

Bring him home to me
Where I can keep him safe
Let him run back to my arms
I can’t bear this empty space
My heart is cold like the ocean in wintertime
Bring him home to me, so I can make him mine

You’re coming home to me
I’m waiting as the ship pulls in
I can hear the ocean calling
But all I can see is him.

In honour and memory of William Alfred Archer and Athol Allan Archer and all who still serve near and far from home. 

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