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FIRST LOVE
by Alan A Sandercott


Beyond the silken spider webs
beneath the dust of time
tucked away in darken attic
lay a lonely steamer trunk.

In grandma Marthaís wake
a lifetime revealed
a motherís heirlooms
of baby shoes and photographs
her crinkled wedding dress.

From deep within
a bundle of old letters
yellowed with time
a curled lock of hair
all tied with faded ribbon.

The letters express a young manís love
his deeply cherished memories
of Martha
his teary-eyed love
left standing at the station.

Who was this man named Charlie
that penned such loving words
torn apart by war
this stranger from her past
of whom grandma never spoke.

He described his war in distant lands
life in the trenches
ankle-deep mud
stale food
amidst the stench of death.

The monotonous battle for position
measured in yards
of give and take
with an enemy
a stone throw away.

One chilling night all white with snow
he wrote these final words,
ĎAt night I dream there is no war
only you and I, hand in hand
in a field of gold
waving gently in the breeze.í

Beneath the din of Howitzers
the rattle of Vickers machine-gun
100,000 brave young Canadians
charged forward next morning
Easter Sunday, April 9th 1917.

When the smoke of battle cleared
Charlie lay among the dead
felled upon the gentle slope
assaulting Hill 145
at Franceís Vimy Ridge.




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