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I cannot stand to watch them leave, these proud
battle dressed men.
They stand so upright as though to caress the
heavens, on this grey unconscious day.
Khaki kit-bags plethora’s of profusion –
steadily marching onwards.
Designated destination still unknown!

How lonely they will fall
valiant to the last – emphatic one and all
on this, their ultimate ruination call.
Their life’s blood congealed pigmenting
this earth’s feudal terrain.
Sunken conical whites of eye –
eternally blinded to their final resting place.
Death amid some foreign vengeful soil
declaring here; is where survival ends.
What worth existence now for Mothers, Daughters, Sisters
Wives, left to mourn such squander of life.

Will (you) tell them – at what point their man; a hero died?
You should have left them be – safe aside their loved ones.
I curse one thousand tidal malignancies despotic warmongers
amassed dead upon the shore.
For without my man – I am stitched undone.
The silences beyond his absence
numbs me –
Yes, I’ll sew, mend fix on labels
counts the seconds …
Only what – if:  the next knock upon the door should be …?
What then – oh my Lord: what then!

© Poppy Taylor 2013


Today’s featured poem come from Poppy Taylor. A piece exploring the anxiety and despondency of those left behind at home in war, the wives, mothers and friends of the soldiers sent off to die in a foreign land by their governments. Exposing the futility of war itself, in the vein of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, but in exploring that angle of the ones left behind, it provides the reader with an altogether different, human question of what is really left trailing in the savage, crimson footsteps of war.

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