Beyond the lychgate
reading the name of someone known
She’s named on a small tag
on the low edge of a yew tree grove,
long from the stone temple,
where white crosses form uniform rows;
she had died peacefully, when ready,
in control, and contented.
For others with sanctioned graves,
it was too late;
doomed, before they could know it,
the guiltless combatants,
the poor soldiers of the Lord,
or some other indifferent God,
who, when newborn,
reaching joyfully out to futurum’s edge,
were archaically stunted instead.
She felt privileged.
Right to the end, her secular philosophy,
warmed her like a loose-fitting overcoat.
But appalled too,
seeing so few similarly protected,
simply arose from freedom to choose.
A sprig of two red roses was laid:
one, still in bud, cut off too soon,
a token of compassion,
for the religious, and all war dead;
the other, in full bloom,
for her, whose long tranquil life,
though owed to their own causal plight,
should have been the lesson
they ought to have learned,
but, it would seem,
© gothicman 2017