The Salute

This is something I wrote recently as a thank you to Son-in-law Daniel, who was a bearer at Mam’s funeral.

His RAF uniform was a silent reminder of Mam’s love of her life, Dad, and a fitting memorial to their happy life together.

However, it was another silent statement at the graveside that really touched me and which inspired this response …

The Salute

The fallen fill this forlorn field;
old memories hanging in the air.
Some have no monument to read
while others tell how they came there.

We who are living stand and stare
and ponder our own history.
With little thought, in deeds we write
our very own obituary.

He came with us to say farewell
who, only for a little while,
did know the one we laid to rest
yet still was captured by her smile.

He helped to bear her to the place
where that frail body now would rest.
In Airforce Blue, he proudly wore
the colour that she loved the best.

And so, we stood, in silent prayer;
commending her to heaven above
but he, in honour of her life,
saluted Nana’s grace and love.

My eyes shed tears for this small act;
my heart was filled with thankfulness;
my soul, well cheered that, at the end,
this faithful soldier’s death was blessed.

© 2018 Graham Oakes