for Edward Thomas
Don’t be afraid to let your feelings show
I tell the men. Although I have to read
your letters home, don’t let that make you cold
towards your loved ones. Tell them that you care.
I’m one to talk. What can I tell my wife,
my precious girls, the son I hardly know...?
is a clarity in army life
which even in this godforsaken place
gives me the sense of purpose that I need.
An end in view. At least I shan’t grow old.
I seem to be commanding. No-one knows
I write continuously, fill up the space
with only capitals to mark the moments where
my lines dive down, pretending to be prose.