Collection Day

A foot poked out from jumbled rubble,

A booted foot, a butcher’s show,

In life, not fast, a foot too slow

But quickly grasped; not too much trouble.

 

Collecting lumps of bloodied meat,

Adept now, after months of bombing,

The dusted crew resume their combing,

Methodical, precise and neat.

 

A head next, under a buckled bath,

The face distorted, punctured, painted,

Blue lips smiling, plaster-tainted;

An angry smile. Not quite a laugh.

 

Gathered by a gushing main,

The clods are bagged, to be buried again.

 

John McChrystal