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Poetry Pleases: The Irony Of Time - October 1918

Arthur Gilliland's moving poem is about an uncle he never had chane to meet.

A few short years, a few short days.
He was just nineteen, an age when some,
Today, are children still.
His father, mother, brothers must have held the hope
That peace would keep him safe.
A few short years, that's all he had
To savour life; he missed so much.
A few short days, why couldn't he live
A few more short days?
Instead Wipers' mud claimed him for its own.
Just a few short days to the eleventh hour,
And I'd have had an uncle.
But no, cruel time played its game,
The bullet found his heart,
With just a few short days to go.
I have his name and - carefully kept,
Brightly be-ribboned -
Three dully gleaming bronzes,
And I wonder about the youth;
Why couldn't he have had those extra few short days?
And life.


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