Instead I offer you
battle plans. Drawings with
black lines for movement. Blue crosses
where the people should be.
War does not go as we wish.
It goes as it goes and good
goes missing sometimes.
On this night
If you pass Our Lady
of the Snow, move quietly
up the lines of fences and cross
by an ash tree, you might see why
this bed will be the death of me.
I have fought my whole life.
I was raised the
Your blood is the blood of heroes
I was told. 'You cannot sink behind my skirts,'
my mother said. 'You must do what
you must do and you must do
more than most.'
Warriors know that war has its place.
Militia leave with their muskets
and then return them to their cupboards
and return to their fields
to lay under rustling trees to
watch the night sky.
We are on the same side, but
you would not have me speak to you like
an ally. You would
not have me joke or offer
you a pinup picture
or a smoke. You might lose any body
next to you to any wild fire, so better
to be soldier. To be gun. To be grenade
before man or name or friend.
Still I cannot see you
in the trench looking wild
and forlorn and help but
drop you a scribbled note
that reads, 'The sky's still there.
Lie on your back and see.
It is so.'