Roadside Crosses

I ride along the highway
see white crosses on the side
a tribute to where travellers succumbed
to the many deadly perils
that await the traveller bold
which normally our optimism numbs
and I paused for some reflection
on the meaning of the marks
with their humble, silent tribute
to lost lives and broken hearts
and I start to recollect where
I've seen crosses once before
in a field that held its tribute
to the men who fought our wars
Now I don't mean to trivialise those patriotic men
whose battles forged the freedoms we enjoy
but I wonder on the value of that freedom if like most
we spend it living sheeplike in a pen
A man has but one life to live
one chance to make his mark
and I wonder on my brothers
that have won those crosses stark
those humble silent tributes
with their names and with their dates
where a traveller used his freedom
and his life was lost to fate
When we ride we use that freedom
and in truth its not that hard
but now and then the price is just the same
so ride on free my brothers and I hope I'll never see
a roadside cross that brandishes your name.

Max 27/8/98