Anzac Day

On this Anzac day
My computer needs replacing;
It wasn’t designed to last
Nor are the little houses on the hilltop
That look just the same,
Where the rain gets in.
We have done that to our cars,
And our town halls and our bars.

I once walked upon streets where
The ancestors of fathers had walked
And sold their corn.
I visited a forest where death
Made me remember
That some shorn part of me had been here.
And in those strong, scented trees
Of an ancient past,
I knew today to be kind
To be just and to be free.

Now I have Esperanto cards
My great great grandfather received,
Over 100 years ago,
As he searched for global peace
With a language banned by the Germans,
The Russians and the lies.
Perhaps they shall go to both my children,
Who shall value them,
As do I.

America and China you have stolen from us
The value of things.
You have stolen my grandmother’s tears
And our soldiers’ fears
With your plastic toys and plastic cards.
Today, this Anzac day,
The metal pin on my shirt,
That recalls lost battles and broken hearts,
That only cost ten dollars,
Along with my Esperanto cards,
Is the most valuable thing I own.

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