He sees the cathedral brittle and pale
above the city, the barges low against the quay;
and in the thin afternoon sun
on the Place Parmentier
the remains of his platoon lie
propped against walls and each other.
None are looking at him:
they smoke, gaze dully across the river
or at the grey cobbles. Arms and shoulders
shake; heads jump; voices hum and mutter;
one shouts, not at his pals or anything here,
but in some place where his life was,
where his people are.
‘Gawain at Amiens’ appears in Rob Hindle’s new collection The Grail Roads. You can order the book securely by clicking on the relevant PayPal button below.
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