Three times and more that hour
She let each written sheet
Drop to the table…
Each to pick back – here, then there,
Words sulphurous in a fine hand
Accounting her son -a lost hero.
The Officer had dipped pen to page
That very day when so many young men
Had given all they could.
And with rage still inside
Provided, news of deeds beyond any call…
When boys barely men – made a last amen.
The letter drew tears from screwed shut eyes
Sobbing, sentient as only a Mother could.
Paragraphs blurred while stark words
Screamed silent inflicted soul scars …
As she tried to hug her ribs together
Her baby son shot dead.
“Dear God” she whimpered
But all next words were lost
Grief pulling her mouth down in stabbing sobs.
Across both time and space
The General had cursed…
That day his men were so depleted.
So many lost – “Draft me the letters!”
The Adjutant, smart saluted.
His swagger stick
Hurled into the scrolled rolled maps
Moping on the tin topped bench.
Crude, ignorant, ‘fighting fronts’
Weary, wasted, conflicts.
“Damn bad show” he cursed…
His voice edged in fury
“Batman – bring me a rum,
No make that a bottle!”.
Curling back the mapped terrain
The paper crackled,
Previous pencilled strategies…
Men’s lives – lost in vain…
“ O.K. – no time for the faint hearted
Lets guess – where can we gain?”
WE must see this battle through.