Harry’s Last Standard

The sepia tone of November has gone
wrote Harry Smith – aged ninety-one –

seeing worn-out – blood-red – poppies as lies –
pinned politic medals on cut-back lives

Dignity – for the aged – the infirm and unwell
should not be hacked so this state can sell

the last shards of a now-curtailed reward –
gained fair in blood – in post-war accord

Death-won promises of a better world –
Instead they insist such respect is culled

On Harry Smith’s lapel no poppy was worn –
For him the Old Wars were still to be won

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