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Scarecrow Somme

‘And they are bread in the bodies of the young … ’

               from Armistice

                    by Paul Dehn

00:00 / 00:51

They came with their machines

and ploughed them into fields:

caught a whole army off guard.

Stretched and strewn like a skin

of gold on harrowed earth –

all the stuffing gone out

of arms and legs and bellies.

I tread handfuls of straw

I suppose were fingers;

cup the severed wheat ears

that didn’t hear them coming.

Only these sounds remain:

the crickets clocking time,

some traffic swishing by

in a long escape of air.

Birdless, unholy air.

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