06 July 2007

Words That Only Forgive The Dead

At which ends of the gun
are felon and fool? United
in sum by dull metallic
bindings, bound in an
innocence of un-natured
envy breeding that

that half-living-dread where
rule of thumb says he who
shoots first suffers much less;
yet he who lives with the still
images of comrades killed
never forgets.

Shed blood does not wash
away the veneer we grew
into, the boyhood shared, the
hype and consequence of
our civilisation;

it is not the uniform we wear,
nor that of our adversary,
it is the gun which speaks in
tongues of sharp-edged
violence binding us in rhetoric,
words that only forgive the dead.
© 18 June 2007, I.D. Carswell