by Phil Binding

In a November field, seventy souls took flight;
some broken, some drowned, some vaporised.
It was a long time ago but the land remembers
and its agony echoes in a deep grassy scar.

No-one’s allowed in there now.
A pathetic broken fence and rusting signs
warn off the casual walker, like a bolt
drawn across the door of an empty stable.

Birds still sing there, despite what they say.
They make their homes in new trees,
pick worms, hunt mouse, harvest berry
and skip across the dangerous earth.

Each Spring, when autumn is forgotten
campion, ragged robin, nettle and trefoil
seed the slopes with ignorant abandon,
a joyous victory of life in a place of death.


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Phil Binding