Maggie October 11, 2013

A woeful tale

Spilling out from the lips of the accurate news-reader 
“Another soldier has been killed in Afghanistan
His family has been informed
The regiment commander said
He died a hero
Was awarded a medal
for fighting for his country
doing the work he loved
His remains will be flown home
and will be buried with full military honours”

My young lad!
Were you a hero in the pale cold throes of  death

Was it the reputation of your country that sustained you
In the delirium
As your strength was ebbing
As you lay there
In the inhospitable unfamiliar environment of Helmand
Surrounded by foreign infidels
So hostile and uncivilised

What care you about war medals
Or long heavy eulogies

Or the crowds who congregate on the streets
Out of curiosity


At the funeral procession

Throwing roses

White and red


The medals will tarnish
The flowers will fade

Words will be forgotten

The crowds will disperse

For a day’s work awaits them
Every one so busy!

And YOU will be remembered no more!
Deep down in your mother’s heart
Is an incurable scar
on which  no remedy
can have an effect
As she moves each day through the darkness of the deep
Where there is no light

Chrissie MacIver Breasclete 2012

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