Thursday, April 11, 2013

War without End

There was the man without a face.
Another’s voice was missing.
A third possessed no hands or legs.
They lounged in the basement.
If he with no voice needed a partner
we shot pool, played cards.
I watched the man without a face,
imagined what was never said,
but I heard when called upon by the one
whose voice rang out in alarm:
Please give me hands and feet to hold!
(If only I had known where else to work.)
Their lives moved backward only,
where there was never more than war
they must find their way to: the front line,
staccato machine-gun fire, explosions,
bodies falling to the erupting earth.
Out of what they had in common 
they conjured the only game they knew
buried in their nerves: War without End.

(11 April 2013: II)

copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander

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