Saturday, May 18, 2024

A Padre Weeps

April 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Poetry

The road, tree lined, with grassy verge,
Dappled by sun kissed shadows,
A line of marching soldiers emerge,
Keeping to the road, avoiding the mined hedgerows.

Then the shooting started, machine gun, and mortar,
Tanks rumbled, with flaring gun turrets,
Adding to the two way slaughter,
Kill or be killed, time to show your merit.

Dead men on the sun dappled road,
Some dressed in Khaki, some in Gray.
The fighting moves on soldiers marched or rode,
Scarcely looking, no time to kneel and pray.

Reinforcements rush up, a squadron of tanks,
Racing to catch up to continue the fight.
They must keep to the road, fearing mines on the banks.
Leaving behind crushed bodies bathed in sunlight.

The Padre drives up, kneel to pray,
Reaches out, bare hands search through cloth and flesh,
Seeking their identity in his reverend way,
So that Mothers, wives, lovers can be told he died that day.

Now as I drive down busy roads, and country lane,
And see many of nature’s creatures cruelly slain,
I think of that Padre kneeling, his tears flowing,
Dropping on crushed bodies, names unknown.

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