So close to life he lay, so close, still warm
His lids left wide, eyes bright in morning sun
Straw hair disheveled, wanting there a comb;
Red mouth agape as if paused in a song.
Still he was dead, I knew, forever gone;
Dried crimson on his chest betrayed his fate
As if a nosegay pinned to breast was done,
Stained wilted joy that harkened yesterday.
What must I tell his mother….he was brave,
Not that I heard him whimper in the night,
What to remember of the life he gave?
Not that he cried for home with failing sight.
What shameful sin, that patriotic lie —
That innocence for some false honor, die.
© Loubert S Suddaby. All Rights Reserved.