Menai Bridge War Memorial Poem

by Alix Warren
(Bull Bay, Amlwch)


The memorial for the dead of Menai Bridge stands on the little church island off the Belgian walk.


Walk down from the car park behind the Jade Village, and across the bridge, pass through the graveyard and up the steps and you'll find the cross facing the Britannia Bridge.

How many widows have grown too feeble to make the journey to lay their wreathes?

There are many names here, including those who died on home service and two service-men from overseas who are laid to rest in this island cemetery.


VIGIL

There's a rumble of traffic crossing the bridges on either side,
and an insubstantial murmur at the turning of the tide.
There's an answering of birds through the trees around the shore,
and an echo of the soldiers marching off to war.

There's a tingle in your backbone as you walk beneath the trees,
and a tangle on your taste buds as you smell the salty breeze.
There's a jingle at your nerve ends as you watch the water pass,
and a jangle on your conscience as he flees the mustard gas.

There's a young boy on a cycle, riding on the wall,
and a little dog too busy to heed its master's call.
There's a mother and a child walking by the straits,
and a sighing of a soldier as he dies beside his mates.

There's a watercolour wash to the early morning sky,
an iridescent flash of feathers, catch the corner of your eye.
There's a bunch of browning daffodils lying on the grass,
and a wreath of rose-red poppies spilling blood upon the path.

There's no-one on the island coming through the gate.
No-one mounts the steps to read the litany of dates.
There's no-one by the cross to keep a vigil with the dead.
Just a company of soldiers with laurels round their heads.




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