I was half asleep one night some time ago with the radio on in the room. There was a documentary playing about the forthcoming WWI commemorations in the UK. They had an archival recording of an elderly man from Wexford, who was talking about his experiences in the war. He must have been long gone by the time the documentary aired. He was talking about being asked to go back to the Somme, to see the graves, and he began to get a little upset and confused, and to say he wouldn’t know what to say to the lads who were buried there. Then – and this could have been my dream or his bewilderment – he said that he hoped that after dark, when all the visitors went home, that the lads would at least keep each other company in the ground, and talk to each other so they wouldn’t feel lonely.
The poem was broadcast on last Wednesday’s Arena, and you can listen back here