He pauses reflectively.
How many others, also heavy of heart,
Have carved the names
On obelisks, crosses and cenotaphs
Across the decades and continents?
War – brutal, indiscriminate –
Terrorises, wounds and slaughters
Innocent and guilty alike.
Yet, always there are those
Whose sense of duty and resolve
Sends them, far from home,
To fight for justice.
Who of us, stay-at-homes,
Is not moved
When flickering images of bygone wars,
Or terrifying flashes of modern conflicts
Mutilate our screens
With deeds, faces and funerals
Of those who valiantly fought
For a better world?
He delicately inscribes the final letter,
Not just of one young soldier’s death
But that of family and loved ones.
Red-eyed mourners –
Grim, rose-red lips scarring ashen faces.
Blood-red bloom the poppies.
Mason, move on!
Another job awaits.