For those unpoppied

The shades, mud echoes: rat/trench/rifle
their services on poles, plates
in prayer
we stencil them against
our future

but in amongst the dust
forgotten cascade of brick and the bone
fragments
bits of blood and tooth, skin scraps
hair congealed
lay those who stayed
who stay, disseminate
who have no choice or voice
no poppies

the countless wombs
the wide eyes
skirts and shorts and sticks
the bright the beautiful
the sick and the old
the unstoried, breath stopped people
forgotten
because we neglect to remember

mortaring the rubble
with their spent flesh
uncounted
uncountable
in time

the returning hearts only are left
to list loves lost
to pick amongst the peopled stones
building sticky cairns
for the ones who could not be
the heroes we wished for

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