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Encamped in cardboard on base of concrete,
defeated in a doorway, no longer private in this urban life,
ill at ease with no defence, saluting at hard rain.
Hunched up shoulders with the wrong kind of knots,
non regimental hood shrouding liberated disorder.

The feet of daily slaves march; quickening thoughtlessly
past a life marking time in an unforgiving parade.
His sacrifice unsurpassed by their lofty charity
awarding coins to decorate his cap like medals.
Empty honour, appeasing guilt, no match for a peaceful life.

He can look up to mutter thanks for generosity
But can’t hide those disappointed eyes.

2 comments add one below

  • avatar

    Christopher 3 months ago

    This is powerful, Rachel.

  • avatar

    Neville Hunt 2 months ago

    Fascinated by your military allusions throughout. Has got me thinking beyond the situation to the person and wondering what and where was his back story. Very thought-provoking.

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