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Wednesday, June 14, 2006


by Christopher Woods

Their field is wide
Enough for the soldiers
From every country in time.

Crowded, always crowded,
Not an inch to turn
Away from so much grief.
But still the god calls to them,
“Make room! Make room!”

And so they bunch closer
Together, a Roman soldier,
A Viet Cong boy in black,
Doughboys without faces,
Grudgingly make room
For the new war dead
Arriving unexpectedly
At all dark, bloody hours.

Death’s badges identify them
Victims of catapults, boiling oil,
I.E.D.s, napalm and gas,
Sticks and stones,
All the tools of the wars
That lead them all here
Where there is no need
To speak, only to acknowledge
Tears and every once proud flag.

Christopher Woods is the author of a prose collection, Under a Riverbed Sky. His play, Moonbirds, about census-takers at work in an unpopulated desert country, was produced in NYC by Personal Space Theatrics. He lives in Houston and in Chappell Hill, Texas.