You never know when you stop On a corner to enquire the health Of a cousin and his own, if he Loiters occasionally, a watcher In long light, a survivor of the fight, On a corner of this deserted street In our old town of memory – O! Such a place! Windows and bells! Familiar shadows, muffled yells, The thud of lead entering flesh, Cloud-parted mothers reaching – ‘I only aimed at their legs!’ Patch Protesting from his enemy’s stone, Hands clasped in forgiving prayer. A sniper’s distraction, a lucky Deflection, and the longest life In the village, following the stream Day by day to its spring. O! It must be Not the Fallen who gather, for this Is the moment to run regret’s Melancholy finger over tobacco-tin dents Buttoned by heart’s miracle breast, To stand in the chill of November, Colours dipped, and tight-lipped bugler, Children to chatter on corners Of perpetual towns, and ghosts To run from bar to bar, from aunt To uncle, from childhood to battle, To stand bareheaded, free to speak, To stand with Binyon on Beeny cliff, To peer across a steely sea, to ask ‘What if?’ and remember, remember Not merely the Fallen, but to stand Quietly on November’s Fallen street, To stand each year with the survivor, To hear the children on the swings, To know that all, beyond Binyon’s Northerly horizon, will once more, When bugles fade on silent fields, That all, in No-Man’s-Land, will meet.