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2020-11-10T18:52:53-05:00November 11th, 2020|Musings on life|

Poems in the trenches

I read that some soldiers
carried poems with them,
tucked in their breast pockets.

I think of the paper,
how it must have known
about shelling and sniping
by the sudden thrashing
of a soldier’s heart.

I think of the ink,
folded and unfolded
so many times
along the same lines,
words creased like scars.

I think of the men in those trenches,
those pits of mud and rats and fear.

They carried poems.

Did the poems also carry them, I wonder,
on days when it was too much to bear,
to places the words painted,
to the smells of cities and love
or just the extravagant plainness
of a patch of clean grass
on a quiet summer day?

Or was it that they trusted
those poems would carry them
even further if needed,
all the way up
to that quiet summer day,
riding on the backs of those poems,
not even looking back once
to see their broken bodies disappear
into that sorrowful
earth.

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