Dverse poetry pub – critiquing

I am so sorry not to have your sessions to look forward to Luke. I have enjoyed them immensely.

Here is a poem that needs work.Please pull it apart so I can put it back together and make it stronger and more meaningful. It is about an old soldier who lives in Wootton Bassett, honoured every repatriation by collecting all the tributes that remain on the war memorial and binding them into a book of remembrance.

I can’t seem to end it  in a meaningful way.

Still Doing his Bit

Every card, plastic flower
rain-soaked soft toy,
he collects with aching fingers
broken heart .
This old soldier
marching now on battery power
fills the shopping basket
on his red, mobility scooter,
lurches, wide circle, for home,
turning his back on the bare
Wootton War memorial.

He straightens painful creases
wipes, dabs, winds scarlet ribbon, gathers
petals, photos, paper poppies,
dries each heartfelt gift, preserving
strangers’ tributes
to another fallen soldier. Bags,
tags and glues every token
into unwieldy, weighty volume,
heavy archive boxes. No message lost,
no tear missed, no prayer unheard.

Wearily he sinks into body-moulded armchair,
Knobbled fingers brush painful rhythm
on worn twill trousers, slippered feet
beat impatient tattoo. More lives wasted;
no lessons learned; no end in sight.
Comforted that his time is numbered
in months, not decades, he falls to
remembering a different war, his war,
a war to end all wars. The long
night passes.

About SallyJ

I am a writer and a poet.
This entry was posted in Dversepoetry, funeral, poet, poetry, writer, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Dverse poetry pub – critiquing

  1. Wow, this is really heavy and sad. … This is my favorite line: “marching now on battery power”

  2. Luke Prater says:

    Oh Sally I’m so sorry I never managed to get to you — took a different approach that week, as I said in the article. I’ll look at the ending of this if you still want me to?

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