Himalayan Balsam for a Soldier

They don’t see me but I walk
into Fitzgeralds with them the half-wounded,
I sit in there at the high table with my pint,
half-wounded, thinking, I will drag my
wounds in here.
I drag myself in and up to the high stool
among the guys with one arm and they
don’t see me.
Here is your talisman I say, I whisper
hold it in your good hand and sing one
of your songs for me.
How does it go? Oh how does it go again?
There is blood on my hand, la la,
there is blood on my hand, la, la.
Your talisman, I say, a foul flower.
Hold it in your hand and how full your good
hand will be with the
exploding.

from This is Yarrow (Carcanet, 2013), ? Tara Bergin 2013, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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