Edward Waters         Bard of the Grey Wind

By Edward Waters
(Copyright © 20 March 1994)


All eyes are on the battlefield
       but mine.
       I scan the crowd about me.
Festive faces.
Smiles as guns and cannons boom.
Cheers at each advance.
Laughter when the smoke rises in rings
       or when a soldier falls.
Whole families lounge
       where someone's bleeding son
       once stained the grass,
and couples
       where perhaps a fading mind in agony
       held till the end
       the memory of a woman's face.

It's just a show,
       a game of sorts,
       to teach and to remember.
Worthy aims.
But where in this meticulous detail
       is fear,
       the stench of death,
       the weight that war heaps on the soul,
       the atmosphere of slaughter,
       and the madness in the eyes?
What have we taught?
Do we indeed remember
       while the grass stays green?

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