Dónall Dempsey

(15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' THE SONGS OF BIRDS


Birdsong.

As he lay there
he became aware

of the dirt
under his fingernails

clutching on to the earth
as if it were possible

to let go
& fall off into infinity.

Up this close
his fingernails loomed

like tombstones.

Blood seeped
almost tenderly

over the tips
of his fingers

scolding him
for wasting

his life
staining the soil.

His fingerprints
looked like ploughed ridges

obscured now
with blood and dirt.

He felt
as if he were

turning to
marble

slowly he could feel it
creep down

inch by cold inch

his outstretched arm
like a statue

as he died
into becoming

the Unknown
Soldier

the sound
of camera clicks

all day
like little birds.

Submitted: Tuesday, June 01, 2010

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