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the veteran :: margaret i. postgate

by on November 11, 2016

We came upon him sitting in the sun—
   Blinded by war, and left. And past the fence
Wandered young soldiers from the Hand & Flower,
   Asking advice of his experience.

And he said this and that, and told them tales;
   And all the nightmares of each empty head
Blew into air. Then, hearing us beside—
   “Poor kids, how do they know what it’s like?” he said.

And we stood there, and watched him as he sat
   Turning his sockets where they went away;
Until it came to one of us to ask
      “And you’re—how old?”
                                                “Nineteen the third of May.”

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