Tumbledown

He stumbled into destiny out there,
tripping on a corpse in disarray;
brought its incoherence back,
the foreign shouts, guttural breath,
heard, or half-imagined heard,
in his retreat from bar to bar

The wind blowing in from off the Atlantic
goes through the patched-up fences in his head
where the rags of soldiers
are caught on hawthorn barbs
and no flower as sweet as poppy
blooms to intoxicate the dead

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