Home > Uncategorized > Thomas McGrath: All the Dead Soldiers

Thomas McGrath: All the Dead Soldiers

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

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Thomas McGrath
All the Dead Soldiers

In the chill rains of the early winter I hear something –
A puling anger, a cold wind stiffened by flying bone –
Out of the north….
and remember, then, what’s up there:
That ghost-bank: home: Amchitka: boot hill….

They must be very tired, those ghosts; no flesh sustains them
And the bones rust in the rain.
Reluctant to go into the earth
The skulls gleam: wet; the dog-tag forgets the name;
The statistics (wherein they were young) like their crosses, are weathering out,

They must be very tired.
But I see them riding home,
Nightly: crying weak lust and rage: to stand in the dark,
Forlorn in known rooms, unheard near familiar beds:
Where lie the aging women: who were so lovely: once.

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