The face in the mud (for those lost in war)

The bubbling, squashing

belly of mud

swallows them,

eats them up

for a general’s dinner,

takes them whole,

dissolving their memories

in the hellish earth.


But protruding

from the stench

and wet of mud

there is a face,

not gone,

but gone.


It’s eyes of

vivid blue,

to match the sky,

look without looking,

and the soft and patchy beard

grown but not quite grown,

flecked with mud,

reveals the age

and the truth.


Too soon,

but not soon enough,

the face recedes

beneath the grey brown

mess of civilisation.


Too late a mother cries

and a father says,

“Where is my son?”