Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SOLDIERS, by MAXWELL BODENHEIM



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SOLDIERS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: They sprawl in the coffee-colored mud
Last Line: Whose faces form a gravely mocking sentence.


They sprawl in the coffee-colored mud
As though they were its lovers, slowly kissing it,
But one long crescent of them, dipped in moonlight,
Like gray sparrows on whom silver bubbles endlessly sputter,
Lies on the stubble of a little hill.
The smile of one face is like a fierce mermaid
Floating dead in a little pale brown pond.
The lips of one are twisted
To a hieroglyphic of silence
Bearing strands of froth woven by little death-spiders.
The face of another is like a shining frog.
Another face is met by a question
That digs into it like sudden claws.
Beside it is a face like a mirror
In which a stiffened child dangles from a string. ...
Dead soldiers, in a moon-dipped crescent,
Whose faces form a gravely mocking sentence.





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