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Written on the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, in which my grandfather commanded an infantry company.

The Seagulls’ Mourning Cries

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse31 Jul 2017

A shortcut to the beach
Avoids the war memorial,
But the Portland stone
Can still be glimpsed
Through the trees.

A bare-breasted man
Chases a toddler
Across the sand
While she pursues
Her stumbling legs:

They both laugh,
Knowing this is to be
The best thing
In the whole world;
And it’s over in a blink.