CASUALTIES OF WAR
in conquered soil planted.
streaming from ancient homes with nothing
but a blanket-wrapped bundle and a baby in their arms.
Holes dug by mines and shrapnel beside the crawling roads.
with tear tracks like catterpillar tank trails through the grime on their face
trudge with their heads well down.
A passing reporter hung with cables
thrusts a microphone into faces like a hand-grenade
and gets answered in silence, with wounded eyes,
and turns away, and starts single-handedly turning the tables,
spouting a package of well-rehearsed, convenient lies.
Histories are written by the victorious.
But graves fit equally well
the men who died
for either side;
the same half open eyes gaze blankly from the far side of Hell,
blood of the same colour different uniforms stains,
beneath almost childish dark or fair hair, reddish gray blood and brains.
All the dead are just dead.
Apparently nothing has changed.