requisitioned

(a blue sky dream)

The sky, in his dream,

was a porcelain shade of English blue.

The grass, although not verdant

was sweet, short

and instantly fresh against his jaded tongue.

The air,

which he barely had time to scent

so busy was he eating,

cooled nostrils blackened with fire

and a throat full of death dust.

The ground soft yet firm

didn’t hold his tread,

but released a foot to fall

where ‘ere it chose.

No crunch of bones

in the turf of ancient meadows.

Groans and screams,

and cries of writhing pain

were drowned by songs of birds,

and the lice itching his tender skin

became amiable scratches

against the orchard trees,

in this blue sky dream.

Awake, he bent his head.

The scorched earth mocked

his sleeping haven,

and the noise,

body parts and blood

told another story,

too terrible to translate.

He blew softly.

The scarcest outlet of breath was heard

amid cannon fire commotion,

but a hand  (one he knew)

came instantly to his side,

resting awhile open-palmed on his neck,

gentle as his mother once was

when she licked him clean and warm.

Together in a moment

a horse, his soldier,

steadying one another.

Carrying one another

into the final ride of death,

without glory or recognition

under that imaginary

blue English sky.

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