Watching the TV, I can feel their cold:
pig farmers and shepherds plodding in fog
and mud. Gloveless, hatless. On the roads they
walk three abreast, forcing traffic to swerve.
I know those faces, those dulled boots that crunch
on crusty snow, the cigareted breath.
And that despair – brandy-laced coffee grounds
in a dry cup, unreadable. This war,
that war – sores on the body politic
that fester every 20 years or so;
old, smoldering pyres that refuse to die.
Win or lose, it doesn’t matter. The men
leave in loveless convoys. The women work
the fields. The children learn to hunt and breed.