Poetry

Poppy seeds

When we mourn, we mourn silently
Our heads dropped
Hands clasped together, behind out backs

Jack had fallen where he stood, gun in hand, pointed limply at the enemy that shot him
We stayed behind the trenches and watched how each bullet poked holes through him
As if he was a piece of paper, sliced open by the teeth of dogs
The shooting had ceased after a while
The blood remaining in his body soaked through into the ground
We buried him where he had stood, where he had fallen
Dug up a hole and lowered his previously decaying body into it
He was finally at peace
I stared into his eyes, dead of any light as we shoveled wet mud onto him

Over and over and over again we did this to our comrades

Buried them where they stood
Buried them where they fell
But we never found any of them again
We had already moved past their makeshift graves
Powered by the need to defeat the “enemy”
Who had hurled bombs our way, pieces of shrapnel exploding into the terrain behind us

By the time the war had finally finished
By the time we returned to each respective grave
We couldn’t find them
Their limbs lay dispersed from their body
Like poppy seeds
Scattered across no mans land
So, we left their parts on foreign soil and powered forward

When we mourn, we mourn silently
We mourn at an empty grave, an empty tomb
Matured poppies alive on the surface of our hearts
Hands clasped behind our backs
Reading a muted prayer to God for us to find them

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