Dirt, sure. But not the ground-in grime
Of long neglect,
The careless patina of time
And disrespect;
No nameless filth, no gnawing rust
To stain and blight;
No petrified, cemented crust
Of oversight –

No: these are battle honours, scars
Earned in the field
That tell, through long and bitter wars,
We did not yield
But faced down Winter’s worst, and won.
So let them stand
Until a cleansing, reborn sun
Reclaims the land.

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