THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER
We did not bury him deep enough; break up the monument,
Open the tomb, strip off the flags and the flowers
And let us look at him plainly, naked Man.
Greet him with silence since all the speeches were lies,
Clothe him in fresh khaki, hand him a rifle
And turn him loose to wander the city streets
Where eyes so quickly inured to death's accoutrement
Will hardly spare him a glance, equipped to die for us.
"You see that fellow with the grin, one eye on the girls,
The other on the pub, his uniform shabby already?
Well, don't let him hear us, but he's the Unknown Soldier,
They just let him out, they say he lives for ever.
They put him away with flowers and flags and forget him,
But he always comes when they want him. He does the fighting.'
by Douglas Alexander Stewart