Stone brass that lasts, not blood or ash or bone
The rain corrodes but not for many years.
It's not the thing for which we shed our tears.
The shot, the burned. It stands there on its own
holding a place, reminder of the dead
and what they fought for. But it's not their grave.
They are elsewhere. Died old; died young; died brave
storming a hill, a trench; or died in bed
did not outlive their wounds. Grew old. Reward
little enough. Rebuked for wanting more -
Only from fear will rich men thank the poor-
They die alone, in pain, in filth, ignored.
Neglect, not paint on stone, will desecrate
them, what they built. Fight now, soon is too late.