1 poem by Kathleen Holliday




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,


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.





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