Steppe Poem by Martin Swords

Martin Swords

Tiglin, Wicklow, Ireland

Steppe



A lone soldier’s voice
Lifts comrades’ chorus
“My Lady Death, we beg you,
Please wait outside.”
‘The Little Blue Shawl’
Makes men cry for
Wives and Motherland

A soldier’s overcoat
Is worth more
Than a silk dress.
A foot bandage
More than silk stockings.
A candle brighter than
A diamond ring.
All the wine and caviar
For a pair of boots.
A warm hat and a clear head
Moves further than a
Cartload of furniture.
A night in hiding
Better than being found.
A soft kiss
Better than rough love.

“Not a single hen to cackle,
Not a single cock to sing.”
This is the road to Moscow,
This is sound of Stalingrad,
So the Babushkas tell,
The old ones, for those
Who cannot speak.

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Martin Swords

Tiglin, Wicklow, Ireland
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