Close your eyes. You are with me by the sea.
Our sons are in uniform. They came from photographs
in dark, cold parlours in homes on a long, long street.
We sent them knitted mittens, shirts and fresh socks
in parcels to Somewhere- In-France; he gave me Pomeranian
fudge and cap badges taken from a German trench.

You are with me in my dream. Feel the weight
of the pack on their backs; the taste of tobacco
on their lips and the charge of rum on their throat.

Run. Run into the white water – fast. Remember this:
every drop of spray is a bullet and the sound
of crashing waves is the rattle of machine guns,
the boom of heavy shells. You are slowing down;
you have a choice. Turn back and soon a pistol points;
Advance, keep going into that hypnotic spray

as far as mud and barbed wire will allow. Come back
from this dream and try describe where you’ve been;
feel that moment when your raw hurt is forgotten.

From Sharp Street, Wrecking Ball Press (2012)

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