Death comes again in a gut-wrenching roll of thunder
that rages and echoes through valleys
and cracked mud compounds
and turns men inside-out.
Walls shake and vibrate as dust-clouds rise
and mud bricks and dust fall from ceiling to floor.
Dust meets dust, “for out of it wast thou taken:
for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”.
A man, though scarcely a man, helps to gather and carry what remains of five friends
whose guts and blood have spilled onto the dispassionate dust of an Afghan alley.
Now, twenty two months later, he swings gently in a breeze
that carries only the coo of wood pigeons
and the steady hum of the early-morning traffic on the A429.