The war is over - for now
the medals all are handed out
and shine with an evil gleam -
the device of all killing is this strange respect
And what pacts, what nations, what causes
have meaning to the heroes now?
He kneels before the chestnut tree
comic, too loud, his chest puffed out
and the giant will not answer
there is only the biting wind
and the soldier's mirrored solitude.
There are only memories and
flat futures ...
futures in the arms of women
who smell of dead flowers.
* This poem first published by Ozlit (Australia, 1998) as well as Acme Poetry and Plumbing Supplies (US, 1999). The poem also appeared in Facing the Demon of Noontide, a collection of poems by Ian Irvine, 2000. Copyright, Ian Irvine, 1998 all rights reserved.