Poem for the last of World War One

Just found this poem by the new Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. It starts with two lines from Wilfred Owen's Dulce et decorum est and imagines if the horrors of the First World War could be rewound and never brought to pass.

Last post

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If poetry could tell it backwards, true, begin
that moment shrapnel scythed you to the stinking mud…
but you get up, amazed, watch bled bad blood
run upwards from the slime into its wounds;
see lines and lines of British boys rewind
back to their trenches, kiss the photographs from home-
mothers, sweethearts, sisters, younger brothers
not entering the story now
to die and die and die.
Dulce- No- Decorum- No- Pro patria mori.
You walk away.

You walk away; drop your gun (fixed bayonet)
like all your mates do too-
Harry, Tommy, Wilfred, Edward, Bert-
and light a cigarette.
There's coffee in the square,
warm French bread
and all those thousands dead
are shaking dried mud from their hair
and queuing up for home. Freshly alive,
a lad plays Tipperary to the crowd, released
from History; the glistening, healthy horses fit for heroes, kings.

You lean against a wall,
your several million lives still possible
and crammed with love, work, children, talent, English beer, good food.
You see the poet tuck away his pocket-book and smile.
If poetry could truly tell it backwards,
then it would.

Both this and Dulce... are deeply affecting as they wish away the reality of war whilst helpless to do anything about it. Whether that makes Duffy's Last post an entirely fitting tribute of lives that were given in willing and genuine sacrifice I don't know but it does describe "the pity of war" (Owen's suggested Preface) and gives me pause to pray again for peace and a generation not lost but saved.