The bed is soft, gentle is her sleeping hand,
The old cat bundled and purring at our feet.
I had almost entered the memory, my soul
drifting toward another birth, forgetting how
far from home I fall, my face among small flowers
that worry down my cheek like child fingers, only
child of ours. A dark pool widens in the grass
under my belly. Cannon fire, numb and muffled
through the golden mist of equanimity
where past and present mingle in some final
chemistry of silence. Do not call it death:
it is too familiar, opening like her hand
asleep in mine. A voice, 'well done, rest now, soldier,'
speaks from the stillness that enfolds all battles,
calling me back to the field where I have fallen
so often before, refrain in a melody
of bones, soldier's body among blue flowers.