He cared for carrier pigeons
in the mud and blood of Flanders
but didn’t look after himself
and succumbed to pneumonia
during the final push, eleven
days before the guns fell silent.
No pigeon delivered this news
just a telegram boy pedalling
while bells rang out the Armistice.
Her hair turned white as she read,
comforting their teething baby.
She felt the pain every Poppy Day.
She didn’t fancy keeping his
pigeons after that.
In memory of Richard Blundell, Pioneer 204570, Royal Engineers (Carrier Pigeon Service), who died on Friday 01/11/1918, aged 27. Buried at Etaples Military Cemetery.