When we met upon that battleground
The air was thick with the misty spirits
Of warriors lurking behind the masks
Of their granite memorials.
Hiding in the gaps between edgewise glimpses,
Shimmering in the corners of eyes as they climb
Long gone steps, they rerun the routine, affixing
Their bayonets and war faces, ready for confrontation.
The snarling curl of their lips
Distorts them beyond recognition,
Transforming them from fathers, husbands,
Lovers, poets, to brutish, hollow, brittle fodder.
No more, no more. For the dead respect only
The ground upon which they were consecrated.
Their masks truly slipping from fiercesome to fearsome
When conscripted back to astral barracks without rations.
And the hunger drives them on,
Colliding in abandon, a chain-reaction
Without control, their transparency
Burnt into the green grass, like living shadows.
And we feel their need, feel the good within them,
Their struggle for remembrance, for acknowledgement,
To never forget what they did here
When they met upon that battleground.
Thomas Shadwell, English poet and playwright, died today in 1692.
Adam Driver, American actor, was born today in 1983.