“Oliver Cromwell”

Oliver Cromwell

(for Steven Moore)

He read of children tossed

at a pike’s end, of cannons

with “God Is Love” scribed round

their barrels. He read of a snake

with garnet eyes, of golden

ringlets curling round the hemp

of a hangman’s noose.

He read of green fields

and mines, of foundries

and factory floors. Pleasures

and game diversions. The tree

which bursts into pink blossoms

of enthusiasm. The trees huddle

suspiciously in the wind, rustle

in green whispers. A village mashed

and shattered under the sun, not one

stone left upon another. Bombers

and fighter jets darkening the sun,

the shop clerk whose weekend sends

him – in militiaman’s uniform –

to take stock – with a bayonet– of a

tentful of refugees. Great men,

whose brows line with the effort

of shaping destiny. Who read old books,

and find their faces there.

Mark Scroggins, Marsh Hawk Review

via wood s lot


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