Dumb Beat Of Blood



Soldier, you surprised me

with your dark threat,

hidden in the nave,

stark and silent, like stone.


Your cheeks were the warm

spring pink of wild roses.


And I surprised you too

when I brought the gun

up to my eye

and fixed you in my sights.


This was your game

to play, not mine.


Did you stagger

through the vestry door

to still draw breath by

winter-grey graves?


It seems I found you there,

alive in the morning grass.


And somehow, suddenly,

so keenly awake to the physical

destruction of death,

enthralled by willing flesh,

I fired and fired.


What a thrill, unfelt before!


A pause. A fall to waking,

taking stomach sinking

backwards steps to flee

the sunlit scene and let

feeling seep back in.


Soldier, I close my eyes

tight and cannot see

pink cheeks drained white.


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