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Limestone stub peeks out

rain-worn and illegible

Quebec meadow kissed

by a bronze-pink sky

covering 21 grams.

Born of a famine

crossing the ocean to starve

comfort in chaos; clear liquid numbs

made of grain

violation sets the tone.

Infantry fox hole

staring at dead eyes open

comfort in chaos; brown liquid numbs barley gold

he carries a French postcard in his pocket

addressed to his Son, but unsent.

Homecoming bitter

sweet family gone

umber stained fingers, burnt

holding onto hope and a satchel

hopping from one train to the next

for years; becoming thin as a rail.

Mrs. Mini’s rooming house

armies of salvation givers give hope

to no avail; winning and losing

comfort in chaos; Bay Rum* numbs

familiar spiral begins once more.

Needles burn with beautiful warmth

numbing to another plane

he knows no Russian, but

tattoos cover his hands with the symbols

of a criminal.

All warnings are futile

finally, hope is gone

at the bottom of a ditch; throat slit

legs wrapped in hay wire

a monogrammed, porkpie hat rolls

to the bottom

resting.

————-

Posted for OpenLinkNight #5 dVerse Poet’s Pub http://dversepoets.com/

and, dVerse Pretzels and Bullfights, Memorial Day prompt, 2012.

This poem is about my Grandfather who died decades before my birth. He was an infantryman in the Canadian army during WWI. His murder remains unsolved, but newspaper articles speculated it was the result of unpaid drug and gambling debts. *Bay Rum, an after shave with high alcohol content, was popular during WWII and before.