. R e w i n d... If time could suck the bullet from torn flesh, And pry its steely bite from splintered bone, Stitch tattered life and limb to start afresh, Unbloody muddy trench, uncast the stone; If time could snatch back all each battle stole With hands to heal the homeless, noiseless dead, Breathe music into songless lung and soul, Unfire the smoking gun, annul the lead; If time could doom the poppy’s ruby bloom, Fill Flanders Fields with waves of wheaten-gold, Lift mourning clouds that weep in sunless gloom With smiles of soldiers risen to grow old; If time erased that piece of history Then would we know the worth of being free? . . For What It’s Worth Did soldiers in their legions die for naught; Just food for greedy tombs in distant lands? Are bloody battles braver souls have fought A blot that stains our history’s guilty hands? Were horrors of the trench, the Somme, Dunkirk, All nothing but a reckless, thankless blight? Was Churchill just a cruel and clueless jerk; A bulldog sick with savagery and spite? Are Stars and Stripes the symbol of the shamed Begging to be shredded, mocked, and burned? Must individual liberty be blamed For every evil since the earth has turned? How can the gagged and locked-down know the cost Of freedom if they do not know it’s lost? . . Susan Jarvis Bryant is a church secretary and poet whose homeland is Kent, England. She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas. Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets).