Patriotism did not survive being gassed in the trenches.
It is a shellshocked zombie,
Lurching forward, hand on heart, muttering
“Dulce est” but can’t remember what.
(Blood is sweet.)
Somewhere in the distance lies Blighty
Or perhaps just blight.
There is mud.
Was there an enemy?
What was sweet?
Something was supposed to be sweet, and perhaps right.
On it goes, upright still but staggering,
Up to its knees in mud
Mouthing the words in blank confusion
Unable to remember the meaning or the direction
5th July 2017, Florence