They march in an imaginary parade,
All of the dear ones I have ever known,
Relatives, friends, impressively arrayed,
Saluting them, I stand here all alone.

This is no show of military might,
Though in their different ways, they fought for me
And should have been more precious in my sight.
I was no good at generalship, you see.

I drifted like some vague Napoleon,
Taking their loyalty very much for granted.
Is it too late to say this now you’re gone,
But please don’t ever think you were unwanted.

Partners, colleagues, friends and all the rest:
It’s too late now for medals on the chest.



David Whippman is a British poet, now retired after a career in healthcare. Over the years he’s had quite a few poems, articles and short stories published in various magazines.


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5 Responses

  1. M. P. Lauretta

    A nice idea for a poem!

    However, I would subsitute ‘relations’ for ‘relatives’ to preserve the meter.

  2. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    I too like the idea of an “imaginary parade”. I particularly like humble regret of second stanza. Oh, how I wish I could pin medals on the chest of the dearly departed. This lovely poem serves to remind us to tell all those we love just how much while there’s still time. Thank you for the poetic nudge, Mr. Whippman.


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