The son of an unknown soldier by Antony Owen

I want to think of you young in the parachuting smoke where you met him
his brass buttons cold against your cheek as you danced to conscripted tunes.
Your stolen kiss after war must have felt like a dabbed wound to his mouth.

I dreamt I was made in the waterfall’s shroud that dropped in tresses of red
and when you spoke his name dusk became an unpicked scab of no man’s land.

I am the son of an unknown soldier who died with earth in his fingernails.
I am the son of an unknown woman who lived in the earth with his hands.
His hands, his hands, his hands, was all she said when we danced each autumn.

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