Unknown Soldier

Photo from Bayeux Cemetery, Normandy

Unknown Soldier

Here lies a body
of a soldier unknown
A brave warrior
snatched from this life
to serve with honor
and distinction
What of you young man?
Were you married
with a pretty wife
and babies in arms?
Were you maybe
a drafted teenager?
A son of proud parents
who will cry forever more
We shed tears of sadness
to see your unmarked grave
never knowing
what might have been
Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

Laura is hosting Tuesday Poetics at D'Verse tonight
and has prompted us with the graves of those we do not know.
We have been asked to choose from the following;

Choose the character from the Norris or the Longfellow poem or even one of Captain Cat’s old seasalts (follow the link above to the text – its near the beginning)

OR find a similar poem that introduces a deceased character for you to fill in or posit the details

OR pick a name from a headstone in any churchyard or cemetery
bring the deceased to life by letting them speak (first person) or speak with them (2nd person) or speak about them (3rd person)
it is NOT the whole life story that is required but the essence of the person’s character and life
Meter and rhyme is entirely your own choice

Word Prompts:

Honor - Word of the Day
Distinction - RDP

  23 comments for “Unknown Soldier

  1. June 11, 2020 at 8:43 am

    This is a story told over and over throughout history. Parents without even the closure of a grave, and a soul lost to their family. (K)

    • Christine Bolton
      June 11, 2020 at 11:51 am

      Yes I find it heartbreaking 😢

  2. June 10, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    “Here lies a body
    of a soldier unknown”…. what terribly sad, empty words.

  3. June 10, 2020 at 7:15 am


    snatched from this life
    to serve with honor
    and distinction

    An unknown soldier, many of them occupying pride of place among the many. A tragedy, to have been sacrificed at their prime through no fault of their own. Wonderful write Christine!


  4. June 10, 2020 at 6:20 am

    I like how you chose an unknown and brought him to life, into focus, with all the details. Thank you for joining in with this prompt

    • Christine Bolton
      June 10, 2020 at 7:24 am

      Thank you Laura! ☺️

  5. June 10, 2020 at 4:38 am

    There are so many unknown soldiers from both world wars. I wonder, if all the poets in the world took one or two each, could we resurrect them all in our words? Can we offer answers to the questions as well as tears?

    • Christine Bolton
      June 10, 2020 at 7:26 am

      What a wonderful idea Kim! There is such sadness in death no matter the reason. 😢

  6. June 10, 2020 at 12:30 am

    Absolutely beautiful! <3 and so powerful!

    • Christine Bolton
      June 10, 2020 at 7:27 am

      Thanks Carol Anne! ☺️

  7. June 9, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    Beautifully expressed, Christine! Who knows….and that makes it so sad.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 10, 2020 at 12:13 am

      Yes exactly Punam. War is so horrible 😢

  8. June 9, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    He would have been very young. Nice description of him.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 10, 2020 at 12:13 am

      Thank you Frank. I was really taken in be the sheer numbers of those tombstones all saying unknown soldier when I visited Normandy many years ago,

  9. June 9, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Poignant poem Christine.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 10, 2020 at 12:12 am

      Thank you! 🥰

      • June 10, 2020 at 12:29 am

        You’re welcome 😇

  10. June 9, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    The life that could have been, wonderfully expressed.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 9, 2020 at 10:30 pm

      Thank you Sascha 💕☺️

  11. June 9, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    Great poem. It is amazing how making it personal changes everything.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 9, 2020 at 10:27 pm

      It really does Dwight. I loved this prompt tonight 🙂

      • June 9, 2020 at 10:31 pm

        It was a very interesting challenge!

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