Erech Memorial

 

      In the small hours
      The wind breathes dark words.
      A winter's breath in summer -
      Battle calls long dimmed and gone.
      Tangled thatch, thick with years beyond counting
      Conceals grave and scar with a gravecloth
      Woven of ashen faded gold and sage.
      Blood long washed away lies restless in the ground.
      The grey sun dims the stars;
      Seaside mist brushes the mosses with her hair,
      Bedewing the stone with
      Unnoticed tears.
      Every morning it weeps anew.
      Every wounded sunset sees it face another black night
      Dry-eyed.
      Another year of silence.
      Waiting, remembrance of choices made;
      The earth exhales vapors to the new sun.
      No beating blood nor aching throats,
      Passion, temper, cowardice, betrayal.
      Leather and mail of silenced warriors,
      Eaten away by the teeth of rust,
      Painted blood red by the earth itself.
      Under the trailing salt grasses:
      Oath-breakers.
      The stone will not be shifted,
      Will not be thrown down
      Though the gripping hands and strong backs
      Who set it into place be but dust and scattered soil.
      Remembrance is here...time unmarked.

      Living hearts will mourn and heal and forgive;
      Their hurts pass into memory as foam on the seashore.
      A taste of salt, a lonely cry and they are washed away.
      Their marks in the sand soon lost.
      How can they be held?
      A handful of wet sand
      Will lose its shape, slipping back into the sea.

      Oath-breakers.
      You will be held to your oath.
      Unresting, unyielding, unchanging,
      The stone reaches its blackened roots into another time,
      Holds the wound open
      And remembers.

      Yes, it remembers.

 


A. Buckles / '03


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