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Unknown Soldier
by Victor Paquette

about the Canadian Unknown Soldier,
brought home in May 2000

You've taken me away again,
To call your very own,
And now my bones still rest
In a foreign land.

You, of my flesh,
Baptized me anew,
For from lot forty two,
Where they laid me down,
Forever silent,
Another casualty of war.
Unknown, still young,
Too young to be familiar,
With the nature of mankind.

Today my bones remain a mystery,
A lingering memory for you to mourn,
You call me brave, your loyal son,
You treat me like a king,
Draped me in your flag,
Paraded what remains of me
In this a foreign land.

All I wanted was to be free,
They kept calling at my door
To fall behind, to fall in line,
To meet vast armies
To the west of me.

I was too young to understand,
Easily fooled by forces
That swept the land.
I marched, I sang old songs,
I confess that I looked back,
When doubts and fears in trenches
Took a hold of me.

One sultry autumn moonlit night,
When I was left alone on watch,
Filthy, hungry,lonely and tired,
T'was the flare's black light
That caused my eyes to see,
Twisted corpses
Strewn across the land,
The stench kept me company.

I cried before I died,
Just before I saw a yellow breeze,
That came to take my soul away,
And left these bones for you to mourn,
In this a foreign land.

Victor Paquette
Vancouver 06-2000

Canadians go over the top at Vimy Ridge
Canadian soldiers go over the top at Vimy Ridge

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Tuesday 14 February 2006