Inspired by
That Two-Thousand Yard Stare, 1944

The Price, 1946


Is what survives
What could not be destroyed
Or killed or devastated
By powder and shrapnel and rage

What is sacred after war
Is the scarred, crippled blemished
Soul that trudged on through hell
Knowing there was no way out,
Nowhere to return to ever that
Could resurrect pre-death frolic
Before every vision became one
That led only to darkness
And night sweats wrenching terror

What is sacred after war
Is the sacredest of all our
Yearnings combined – the light –
The singular light that urged
What parts could still crawl to
Blind themselves from the mire
And stare into the sun for the
Relief of blindness

What is sacred after war
Is the indestructible recollection of some vague
Imagining somehow surviving that somehow, somewhere
One eventually might merge with
That single soul that shares
One's dream precisely –
And that they might merge into a single beam of light
To beckon others onward.