Deserter short poem

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… he crossed the border

The great river bed
with cold water whispering on the pebbles

and the distant mountain, snow-capped,
steep and hard to reach
in black fatigues, no automatic weapon,
good army boots,
a polished buckle on his belt,
the trip, nigh on impossible

yet he was strong in arms and legs
and at the outset
strode upon the white stone shore where he met

two grey-headed men. One asked him:
What is your rank?
They were in uniform black waistcoats, dhotis,
and were unarmed
so a break would have been easy
but the young man stood his ground,

he told them and the first one smiled,
he smiled and said:
What is your religion? And as the river ran

he told him and the old man smiled
then embraced him.
When they embraced the old man’s hands
were on his head and arms
and so he leant upon his shoulder,
wept for coming home.

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Dominic James

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Having moved along from prose I have been writing poems for a few years now, trying different forms - gaining and failing (see Sonnets) - trying to match mind and soul on the page: it was never going to be easy. The best writing is generally poetry, the worst too. So, we work on it.
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