28 April 2008


For those whose holding hands
with death a confidant impaired
a balanced sense didact – there
is no buoyancy in being left to
face that solitary weariness.

For if one rises true from chaos
that is left when reason flees,
there is no going back to easy
innocence. In death there’s no
return to shades of mock morality...

For lifeless bodies left in empty
fields we grieve, the haunting
smiles of faceless frames that
hang with names we can’t forget –
& yet whose memory sustains.

So where a soldier who survived
is like to seek a unity with soldiers
who survived – to reunite the fear
he held with trembling hands and
faced an ugly consequence, and

shared the unanimity unstated in a
brotherhood of need – friends though
friendship which obeys the precepts
of proximity; friends declared by
sharing common agonies.

Gather where our dead embrace in
arms rejoined across the fleeting years,
see the tears in aged and greying faces
glint and dry before the smile appears –
hear the cries of joyful greeting.
© 15 April 2008, I. D. Carswell