At noon of night his song burst through from 7th Battalion Park.

It woke me. I lay listening as his tune swelled in the dark.

Then Battalion Park reverberated with the sound of a thousand strong.

It was as if the throng mistook the middle of the night for dawn.


As I lay in the dark I thought of the park when its undergrowth crawled with men:

The hush, then the shout, then the terrible yells, and the rat-tat-tat of the Bren,

And the flurry of wings as birds took flight and the squarks as they wheeled in fright

As soldiers crawled beneath the trees, exercising in dead of night.


My father was there.  It’s odd to think he trained years before my birth

Where I walk of a day the cemented brink of what once was undergrowth.

Now that the war is over, now that my father is dead,

His daughter not then conceived is now standing there in his stead.


Pass the baton to your daughter, for those who came back and who died.

You fought vainly for peace, my dear father.  You failed, but by  God, you tried.

I. too, am trying, my father.  With my pen I’m fighting for peace.

Surely such blood-free instruments may be wielded that all wars may cease.


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