There will come a day when the leaves no longer
They will have been plucked and fallen
Down the darkest hole,
The branches will droop diminished
And you will sacrifice your hope
Of saving his last few minutes,
This air is the air of an oven,
it is so deathly hot.
For days the sun has been crisping the microbes.
A boy has disappeared from the village.
2AM and the foothills of the Pyrénées
lit with light flashes between the dark spaces of trees,
foliage on foliage.
Sparks of light glitter the mountain sides.
Up here- mountains before us, village below us-
it’s like an ant farm, lines of lights
following the twists and turns between
row after row of houses
scaling slowly into the mountains
for the third consecutive night.
The day it happened,
we’d walked into the foothills,
Is it wrong that I still long to belong?
To share every care and touch your hair?
To pillow fight, fly a kite, hold me tight,
whisper secrets in the dark, swing in the park?
No knowledge of how this life works,
Unaware of death,
awaiting his soul to keep.
A hysterical mother,
a bewildered father,
Begging for answers
about the unexpected leave.
Yes a soldier now that was a thought
I’d never had before
I didn’t fight, I’d never fought
And I’d never been to war.
But myself, and millions of others
Decided to heed the call
And despite the tears of our mothers
We trooped off all proud and tall
Together as mates from our towns
All over these sceptered isles
We left young and happy, but soon frowns
Replaced our naïve smiles.