“Unknown Soldier” by Katherine Gallagher

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Unknown Soldier



We have covered him with real flowers

and taken him from country to country.


It’s always the same journey –

people standing in the streets

silently saluting

as we carry him by.


And our hands tremble

under his weight,

our eyes are shocked

by the riddle of tongues

presenting the same paradox

in every country –

the whole human voice as background

shrilled to fever

about keeping the guns at bay.


Katherine Gallagher

(Published in Carnival Edge, New & Selected Poems, (Arc Publications, 2010)

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