A warm shower of dignified applause
Echoes down the winding road,
As hearses bearing the fallen one,
Glide through, leaving copious tears
And stoic faces in their wake.
Mourners rush forward into the road,
Roses scatter above, gently falling away,
Poor George had his whole life before him
Until an IED sent him instantly
Into the realm of Eternity.
He’d been so keen to serve his country,
Which now stood silently as his body passed by.
High within the Hindu Kush,
Wailing women and screaming children
Shed defiant and agonising tears
As wagons cradling infant souls trot away.
And grizzled elders bury their young,
Who beat them to the grave.
Poor little Hussain did not deliberately linger
When a drone floated above, homed in,
Leaving him a martyred son
And his village burned to a cinder.
He never enlisted for any state or local renegades,
He just happened to emerge in a world
Entangled and suspended in war.
And he will not make any more choices,
For he has quaffed the chalice of Infinity,
Which makes this world seem like a cheap matinee.
Angels innumerable and holy,
Greet him as he haunts their pathways,
And entreats the One who brought him back,
Fallen so suddenly.
Copyright, Novid Shaid, 2010