THE SCORE

Some days, though we could not stop 'Them', our will
declared itself. So, our thronged folk would span
Hyde-bound, bridge-wide, Embankment-long and fill
'Their' emptied House, .....hall, Park and Mall, a gathered ban.

Some nights, though others were faultless, their deaths
besmirched our hearts with sick and secret stain;
then we lay, flushed-out, stark-still, hearing our breaths
in the distant thunder of exploding pain.

Account us now. The angry sum of verse
no more assuages the enormous loss
of blank headstones. Then News, and thousands curse
names (brass-loud, soft-sexed) who make, not bear, men's cross.

Rent dark beyond. Unveiled here the Last Night's score.
Elgar. Nimrud. Ultra. Shameful war.

                    (Apologies to Carol Ann Duffy)

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