I stand on a bridge In Ajax, at Harwood and the highway
Onlookers in a crowd look eastward at the on-rushing traffic
Cars, trucks and a rambling train,
Against protocol the engineer sounds the horn
An older gent hands out mini-flags with a maple leaf the colour of blood
The sidewalk is filled with faces, brown, black and white - some looking blue from the cold.
Veterans bemedalled: police, men and women, firefighters.
An elderly man leaning unsteadily on his walker
Beside him, a young mother and child
The common "we".
Winter temperatures make us huddle a little closer to each other though the firetruck,
parked on the overpass, protects a few of us from the speeding wind.
Sirens wail below us, main beams light the way.
Black Cadillacs roll by, stretched limousines for the living, others carry the silent dead.
Above the motorcade, cold hands hold up fluttering flags
and wave at the entourage below.
Some with tears in their sad eyes.
Then Its over.
An impromptu commemoration for fallen soldiers, Royal Canadian Dragoons.
On the Highway of Heroes.
Pity. Some heroes have to die.

Copyright 2009 - John A. Raynard