no one ever comes home from war

They are in the bedrooms and front rooms,
on the sidewalks and boardwalks
across the long highways, the hidden byways
resting and sleeping in darkness.

They arrive in hot skirmish, only to fade beyond our senses;
carrying a mass without weight yet in ponderous burden
straining to withstand the lifeless, the devil’s shadow;
heft this terrible load unsought, unwished, unknown.

They are gone, passed from here, vanished without
warmth no longer to stir, whirl, to grow within;
seeking life one must most certainly consent in passing
that bloodless nightmare; reborn to live again.

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