Your Possible Pasts (Waters)

They flutter behind you your possible pasts,
Some bright-eyed and crazy, some frightened and lost.
A warning to anyone still in command
[Cattle truck noises]
"Ranks! Fire!"
Of their possible future, to take care.
In derelict sidings the poppies entwine
With cattle trucks lying in wait for the next time.

Do you remember me? How we used to be?
Do you think we should be closer?

She stood in the doorway, the ghost of a smile
Haunting her face like a cheap hotel sign.
Her cold eyes imploring the men in their macs
For the gold in their bags or the knives in their backs.
Stepping up boldly one put out his hand.
He said, "I was just a child then, now I'm only a man."

Do you remember me? How we used to be?
Do you think we should be closer?

By the cold and religious we were taken in hand
Shown how to feel good and told to feel bad.
Tongue tied and terrified we learned how to pray
Now our feelings run deep and cold as the clay.
And strung out behind us the banners and flags
Of our possible pasts lie in tatters and rags.

Do you remember me? How we used to be?
Do you think we should be closer?
 

 

 

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