At Night

At night the TV screen the newly dead;
the united young, destroyed on foreign soil.
One photo follows the next, We read the names
and speechless sit and watch with usual dread.

We wonder when these photographs will end;
and bodies darkly zipped in plastic bags.
No war no more we say but know more deaths
will scar beloved ones' hearts that cannot mend.

We think of families who honour law,
believe that good will overcome all wrongs,
who stare at empty closets, empty beds,
voices, laughter, hushed for ever more.

Caskets in the round, the final track,
headstones now instead of their children's flesh.
The elements and tears can't comfort them.
Heads bowed in prayer can never bring them back.

Never to hear the surge of wind through trees,
nor see the challenging sun begin its climb,
nor feel the shoulder-closeness of their friends.
Another war has taken all of these.

We hope one day the screen will cease to show
the moving photos of the beautiful young
who tried their best to do what they were asked,
denied their measure of time to love and grow.

(Surfers Paradise, Australia. March 2006)

by Caroline Glen

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