ANZAC: A poem by William Croxon


Tonight as we lay down, and before we go to sleep,

I reckon, if you’re honest, the Diggers would ask this,

As we stood to our feet.


Please forgive my ripped uniform,

Of course my bloody-stained hair.

I’d have asked for a new one, if I could find a fare.

The fare that I’d need to back to life,

and real clothes I would wear proud.

Instead I’ve only what I died in,

and hang up around here in the clouds.

But I promise next year I’ll try and wash my face.

I’ll not have blood-stained hair,

and my clothes I’ll try to replace.

Forgive me if I have lived up to this,

for having something real to hang them on

is something we all miss.


Because as you know,

When the sun rose and the whistle blew,

over the top into machine-gun fire.

Yep of course – we all knew.

I looked down this morning however,

I saw a young man asking the right thing for once.

It is not memories that I want.

Let us all forget the guns.

Let us not write home tonight;

or take our watches off to be sent home.


Let us not stand in these trenches,

God, I wish my name was not etched there in that stone.

Of course we all gave, as it was out belief,

and we hoped it makes this right.

But I would give anything,

to come home today with you in my life.

  • To purchase a copy of William’s book, called Man Overboard, Poetry From The Darkest Corners Of The Deep, please email It costs $15 plus $3 postage anywhere in Australia.


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