Thursday 28 April 2022

The Last Marine

by Nick Gisburne

Deserted streets of dust and rubble. Home.
He perches on a mound of broken crates.
A stew of gristle, scummy with a foam
Of blood and tallow curdles as he waits.
The pistol, spotless, never leaves his hand.
His breather hisses, spittle-flecked and red.
Allegiance, on a filthy helmet band,
Does little to divide him from the dead.
He knows that nothing, no one, ever comes.
The last marine, still ready to defend
A flag of trampled loyalties, he hums
A dismal anthem, always to the end.
    He stirs the pan, a random mix of meat.
    He fought with every soldier he must eat.