The siren was suddenly sounded.
Orders were shouted for sharp spades
To disinter the dead. But only those
Who had fought in the Great Wars, in two,
Not one, were lifted up from the burial pit.
He looked in horror at the spring morning
Which had been closed to him for so many years.
Orders were shouted. `Take this one!' `Move
Fast!' `We are in command, and always rushed,
As you can witness.'
My grandfather had no time
To put questions to anyone.
Shouting for the sake of stripes and promotions.
My grandfather had been a soldier
But had never known those behind the causes.
`Well, quick!', they were shouting. The siren
Was sounded again. It gave off a different pitch.
`Take this one. What did you do?
Confess; did you kill?'
My grandfather did not remember, after a long time
Of peace, what the war had been like. And then
About other wars: `what did you do? You have killed,
Of course, yes? Let him play out
The rope of his rank.'
The rope was hanging like a lamb's head
Kissed by the forceps of birth. They
Took my grandfather away; `far away', he would
Tell me; `far away, son.'
This killing was different to the Great Wars.
They terrified him with new questions
That escaped the boundary of dreams.
In his last hour my grandfather laughed:
The laughter of those who couldn't tell:
And yet he marvelled at the many vagaries of life.