Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WAR DEAD, by PATRICK JOHN MCALISTER ANDERSON



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WAR DEAD, by            
First Line: Always the dead seem unsuccessful
Last Line: Of those in whom we might have been justified.
Subject(s): Death; Social Protest; Soldiers; War; Dead, The


Always the dead seem unsuccessful:
as though they had spoiled their photos
they smile with second meanings into our pain:
so, after all, it was that they were after.

The day they died a mother added
another arch to her church,
now she will look
on victory as something bright, but secular.

And where in the cleanest landscape we,
hardly known to ourselves, are running
to some excitement like the centre of light—
a child has turned, a hole in his head.

The eyes where we stood are dark
and the low earth, with careful science,
begins to remove all traces
of those in whom we might have been justified.





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