Sonnet 290

So close to life he lay, so close, still warm
His lids stretched wide, eyes bright as morning sun
Straw hair disheveled, begging for 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,
A tattered nosegay pinned red rude in scorn,
Stained wilted joy that mocked sweet yesterday.
What must I tell his mother….he was brave,
Not that I heard him whimper in the night,
What should she treasure of the life he gave?
Not that he cried for home with failing sight.
What shameful sin, that patriotic lie —
That innocence yet for false honor, die.

© Loubert S Suddaby. All Rights Reserved.

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