24Apr 2021

As We Gather In The Dark


As We Gather In The Dark

My alarm cracked through the darkness, as I scrambled from my bed.

Pulled on my jeans and RM boots, and a beanie for my head.

I jumped into my heated car, headed for my local park.

As many walked along the streets, to gather in the dark.


The crisp air hung in silence, wet grass the sturdy scent.

Quiet shuffling of the footsteps, to the cenotaph we went.

Not a single word was spoken, sacred hush now filled the air.

We waited for the bugle sound, as we quietly gathered there.


While I stand there in that moment, there is a rousing in my soul.

A warmth and pride that courses and connects me to the whole.

Deep in my heart it swells, surging from my very core,

As I think about our ANZACS, landing on a distant shore.


The haunting tune transports me, to a far-off battleground.

Bloody scenes are flashing, I see bodies strewn around.

I hear the crack of riffles, those laid marred their wail,

I think I can imagine, but in truth I know I fail.


For our life of freedom, they died on a distant field,

I grieve for those we’ve lost, and mothers’ hearts unhealed.

May they know that we remember, each day at play and toil.

Eternal peace be theirs, as they sleep in foreign soil.


Limp hangs the flag in early light, it’s like it knows the pain,

So many left this land, to not come back again.

No words will ever capture, my emotion deep inside.

Profound respect and gratitude, all wrapped in Aussie pride.


The sun has breached the sky, the crowd now turns for home,

Near a tree he stands, just wistful on his own.

The years have carved their story, deep lines upon his face,

I see a sadness in his eyes, as he holds himself with grace.


In Nam he had his birthday, when he turned twenty-one,

Sunk deep inside the jungle, hands clenched around a gun.

He is the reason that I rise, such service of remark,

Each like him we honour, as we gather in the dark.


©Mary O’Brien


24 April 2020