War-Making: Haunt of Thieves

War-Making

 

War-Making

 

The blue soldier’s tunic

Dangles a last brass button as though the gamble

Of trade advances nothing

where an unhoused man can look

able to shift a pallet of brick, he commands the only currency

And pallid sick, blue in the face with sunken chest

Breeds invitation to a potshot

He will take this one-note tune as prophecy

When it falls and rings the water in her pail

 

But the mate who crutches at his side

Licking from fingertips the essence of tobacco

Smoking all day, and sore discontent when the last butt

Has burned away, the cripple smells of smoke

It may be only this

No power of authority his eye holds

But holds Gafeidda’s weary one in thrall

Certain this show of misery reborn

His savior, having earned a mug’s reward

 

Another death incarnated for to curse

The war-making insufficiencies of the race

Follows with her burden, drawing close

 


 

They Won’t Return

Let Them Go: Ninth Calmacott

 

(copyright 2017 Stephanie Foster)

 

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