Deirdre Hines

The Veterans

are so busy loading and unloading cargoes of invisible presences from the flag fluttering ships anchored in their hallways, that it can take a lot of  time to open the doors behind which are slouching carers employed by those pirates, who won the care contract from The Dept. Of Disease Palaces, in the name of private enterprise, one of the founding principles of the original corporate raiders, The East India Company, whose longshoremen are even now jamming the opening of caskets as inside those same hallways we six squids an hour carers are standing, waiting to deliver anyone or all of the following options:light/heavy domestic, assistance in dressing/undressing, adminitration of medications, petfeeding/walking-[not appropriate to say pet in Department run Homes]-to those veterans with/without private means, whose hearing, sight, taste, mobility and/or grasp of the realities of their situations extends far beyond the non-reality of a millionaire war hero, or the economic offensives waged against the Veterans wading through bowwaves to reach bobbing crates of cargo carrying the letters of the men who went to Catraeth, the men who paid the price of mead, the men who watched carapaces of comrades carried away by Athena’s winds as turntables stuck on “Sister Susie’s Sewing Shirts for Soldiers” over waves of men and the sound of splitting suns, the taste of memento moris, the way a flower petal felt like skin between the finger and the thumb in trench gardens, and how the photographs of veterans taken by veterans and loaded into barrels to sail on ghostships named The Demeters reappear as phantom presences in the briny hallways of the Veterans of the war to end all wars, or so they said.

 

 

 

 

Deirdre Hines is an award winning poet and playwright. New Island Books published The Language of Coats in 2012, which includes the poems which won The Listowel Poetry Prize in 2011. You can hear her read some poems on www.deirdrehines.com

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