Ut Animae Defunctorum
A war hero returns, still stroking his scars.
As he's silhouetted against the sunset,
Lingering at the garden gate for a moment,
The privet hedge wraps him like a trench
And the disbanding moment tugs at his coat tails
As if cajoling him back to the battle.
Picking up his life and throwing it over his shoulder,
The burden of escape still induces vomit,
Still images chiseled into his eyeballs,
Still limbs of scarlet tossed by shock waves,
Still misted by the expanding debris
Trapped in the spring slush of February.
And yet, to him, he is eternally Christmased,
A bauble glimmering upon a tree cottoned
With warm, fake snow-down,
Warm, like the blood of the fallen,
Warm, like the hearts of the brave,
Warm, ut animae defunctorum.
John Leland, English poet and antiquary, was born today in 1503.
Roald Dahl, English poet, author and screenwriter, was born on this day in 1916.