Marching Orders


English: Garhwal Rifles Parade in New Delhi, India
Image via Wikipedia

When the sap is running in the maple trees,

And the snow still lingers on the hill,

Remember when young soldiers marched,

And went through their numerous drills,

 

Proudly they would stand in silent rows,

With precision they’d show their skills,

Ready to display how they could march,

Ready to count their kills,

 

It was about this time in early morn,

When I saw them coming over the rise,

They were proudly marching, marching,

But not ready for our big surprise,

 

Behind trees our soldiers were concealed,

Rifles primed and ready to fire,

And the soldiers kept marching, marching,

Their situation was extremely dire,

 

Behind cover our cannon waited,

Ready to rip and kill and shred,

To stop the soldiers from marching, marching,

What thoughts ran through our heads,

 

Why aren’t they home safe and warm,

Where rifles don’t hide behind trees,

Instead they’re marching, marching, marching,

Trying to ignore warnings in every breeze,

 

We held our fire until we saw them clear,

Then our shots the silence shattered,

But they kept marching, marching, marching,

As if the formation was all that mattered,

 

The cannon roared and shook the earth,

Our rifles fired from the trees,

Until the soldiers quit marching, marching,

But they struggled back up to their knees,

 

The cannon and rifles took their toll,

Bayonets took care of the rest,

No soldiers were marching, marching,

No longer were they the best,

 

I walked among the fallen foe,

And saw someone’s husband, son, or friend,

Who will never go marching, marching,

He’ll never go marching again,

 

They’ll never go marching home tonight,

With a parade to show they’re best,

Family and kin will march around graves,

Where they’ve been laid to rest.

 

 

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“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” — Maya Angelou

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