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“Three children playing with a shell were blown
to bits in Helmand Province yesterday.”
Back home three others mourn a father’s death.
“Murder of innocence!” the headline shouts.
“Where is he now?” one asks. “In heaven, love,”
they say. “With freedom there’s a price to pay.”
Everything’s relative, God only knows.
Will it bear fruit, this cross of sacrifice?
The town is quietened while the piper plays
Amazing Grace. Along High Street, folk pause,
watch loved ones toss red roses at the hearse,
turn back into their lives. Graveside, Last Post
is sounding, drowns in silence at flood tide.
Six riflemen fire blanks. There’s no reply.
by Peter Branson