A Curious Memorial

An exuberant young man

rode his bike along a bush track

to the Enlistment Office


Behind him was a small farm,

his hardworking parents,

and his three younger sisters


He rode through pure country air,

the whistle of birdsong echoed around him,

the chat of frogs in a creek,

lush foliage marched away in all directions


He yearned to wear khaki,

to hold a rifle

and to act gloriously

in battle

Big dreams for an innocent young man


He left his bike against a tree

In his haste to sign up


How was he be expected to know the reality

Mustard gas filled air,

The whistle of bombs

The chatter of machineguns

The armies marching forth

across barren ground

of this inglorious war


And so,

one hundred years on

his abandoned bike

lives on in a grown tree


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