We will remember

Rupert Brooke

The Soldier

IF I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.



You can’t turn it back,
unbake the cake,
ungrind the flour,
unharvest the grain,
or make the chicken unlay her eggs.
You can’t turn it back,
unrefine the sugar,
resow the cane
or unchurn the butter,
or better still
unmilk the cow.

You can’t unmake it, once it’s done.
Once it’s done, it’s something else.

But these are only words.  Like love.
Like love which beckons me to follow behind,
through scented streets and perfumed paths
and halts me at the baker’s with a knowing smile.
And as I melt on drifts of cinnamon and ginger,
and as I protest that I have love, that I have you,
that one tiny crumb on parted lips
leaves me yearning.

So then there were questions, your “hows?”, and “whys?”
I could have said I didn’t know.  I could have said
anything to let you off, to let the mice nibble
at your love for me til there was nothing left.
But there was one thing he had that you didn’t.
He had the recipe to unbake all this.
He had the recipe to make it his.

© Jacqui Thatcher 2016

(Featured image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/philou46/)