Wilfred’s Men

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A poet’s shattered soul reacts to crumpled men with words intact

Recalling lies as glory folds, one verse – yet many stories told:

Our Wilfred said they’d cursed through sludge, towards their distant rest they’d trudged

And Wilfred’s men had lost their boots but limped on, blind, deaf to the hoots

There, Wilfred saw a hanging face – as death came to his writing-place

So we could read -at every jolt- of gargled blood to our revolt

If Wilfred knew – if he could see -dead men survived by poetry

What would he say – and would he be surprised his words adored by me?

Adored by age, revered by youth, for hitherto-unspoken truth.

If he were now – if he were here, would Wilfred to the world endear?

Or is it likelier he’d see: the sale of arms, cash weaponry?

And then the fight to stop it all, this great divide as countries fall?

Perhaps for now, hypocrisy – humanity’s mobocracy:

And as he rhymes of this or that, he’d write: Manus Manum Lavat.

w

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