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Silent Graves

Submitted by Eric Anderson in the 18+ category

The coal plumes into darkening air

clouds black with their sadness

these dirty days, these dirty ways,

reaching for the shore barren of gladness.

Limping as it were, barely triumphant,

more mortally a survivor than anything else

battered and bruised, dented and abused,

no longer a bringer of military wealth.

All but she, as gentile as she now seems,

took their leave of surface dwelling

into the depths went, found tragic descent,

nothing left but the ocean’s swelling.

For this lone voyager of battle

what war does to a nation’s soul

the sunken lives, the widowed wives,

swallowed all in one watery hole.

Could a grave be more silent

than the abyss of the North Atlantic?

Frothy headstones, unwritten eulogy tomes,

the purge by torpedo systematic.

Take heart Britain’s shores

and grieve slowly Canada’s tides

they gave their life, to minimize our strife,

and to stand as memorials at our side.

So she docks, this fighting ship,

stalwart and ready to take her rest

crew, sullen, worn, remain not long forlorn,

to you to carry the mantle of England’s best.

Into your graces the flag of freedom flies

war is never a compassionate enterprise

its rewards subtle, for its claims no rebuttal,

and all are unsure of the final prize.

Ripple the waters steel hull

guide the way brave captain

sailors receive our blessing, our gratitude confessing,

this journey we will soon ask of you again.

You do not start these endless conflicts

but the struggle ensues still

ripping at our beings, increasing our grievings,

our eyes with tears so often fill.

We can hear, faintly over the gloom,

the wiry call of joyful success

tinny behind the drone of war, battles and lore,

courage to simply each morning dress.

O’er the seagulls and turns bravely fly

calling their echoing sentiments to the chaos below

we are winged above the fray, our imagination’s say,

until peace for all shall everywhere glow.