1 poem by Kathleen Holliday

NO MAN’S LAND

You tell yourself

you were never meant

for marriage,

serial romances or affairs.

You tell yourself

you did not choose that place

where a truce is held like a holiday,

between those armies of the night,

where despite the language barrier

a carol or two is sung

across the divide

above the wire.

Voices twining in harmony

drift up into the cold dark —

Silent Night.

Stille Nacht.

After a few songs —

never more than a few,

you no longer ask

what you’re fighting for,

and,

if this had been that war

to end all wars—

fooled again.

Gone, too, the hope

for a lasting peace

in your lifetime,

you find yourself at dawn,

all maps redrawn,

bound for Blighty

with your wounds,

and now,

all that remains

of an old conflict: your body,

bearing enough shrapnel, surely,

to set off some alarm.

About the contributor

Kathleen Holliday’s writing has appeared in The Bellingham Review (forthcoming), The Blue Nib Literary Magazine, Cathexis Northwest and others. She is a graduate of Augsburg University, Minneapolis, and an erstwhile student of the Lyle's Bar School of Poetry.

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