War-Making: Haunt of Thieves

Posted by ractrose on 4 Sep 2017 in Art, Poems





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







(copyright 2017 Stephanie Foster)


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