They were ours, our people,brought here from our ruettes and côtils,
from our island they last glimpsed
as granite headlands curving on the horizon.
This memorial stone is carved through,as the sea caves granite cliffs at home,
opening up a kind of time window
to look back one hundred summers
to the harvest of horror that was Guillemont –ravaged farms and wracked woods,
all reaped and harrowed by carnage
into a wasted land of graves.
The Earth turns, nature re-seeds,crops grow in what were killing fields;
from this topography of lost memories
fragments of stories are still recovered.
Here dear hearts once beatin hope and comradeship,
and soldiers passed from life to death
a hole in their hearts in place of the island.
They were ours,
as all the dead of all the wars are ours,
who we can imagine in their millions
circling us to the far horizons.
Within this stone’s missing heart
light will pass, air will sing,
wind ghosts whisper through.