A Sore Tenderness

by James G. Piatt
(Santa Ynez, CA, USA)

The church bells that peal assuring
songs will not reach the ears of those
who die as sheep In the blistering sands
of abrasive foreign lands, only the
ringing of rifle’s rapid salvos sing across
the valleys of bereavement: No prayers
or eulogies can reach their bodies as they lie
torn and bloody in the gory fields of war.
No quieting voices of mothers can sooth the
fading ears of dead, and dieing sons; no
bugles or fervent choirs can salute their
bravery. No candles can burn for their
courage, dark ash is the color of their
mother’s brows: And when the dusk sinks
into the gray horizon, a sore tenderness
covers the land.

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