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 WAR WEARY

Did  you  think  of  your  childhood  home,   Weary?
The  wattle  down  by  Sheepwash  Creek  and  the  cool,
  sludgy  feel  of  mud  between  your  toes?
......The  filth,   the  stained  bandages  and  the  blood,
        Weary,
          Wretched  clothes.


Did  you  remember  the  croaking  frogs,   Weary?
Soft  clash  of  wind  racked  reeds,   a  wagtail's
  chatter  by  the  old  cow-yard,   the  cawing  crows?
...... Hopeless  moans  of  dying  men,   the  strident
        guard,   Weary,
          Sickening  blows.


Did  you  recall  the  smell  of  the  gumleaves,   Weary?
The  acrid  drift  of  bush  scrub  burning,   ploughed  earth,
  the  warm  sweet  breath  of  spring-time,   Summerlea?
...... Rotting  flesh,   soured  vomit  and  the  stench  of 
        death,   Weary,
          Dysentery.


You  gave  the  warmth  of  a  caring  heart,   Weary,
The  quiet  strength  to  carry  on  with  dignity  through
  a  living  hell,   -  a  healer's  skill
...... A  man  of  peace - the  soaring  spirit  none  could
        quell,   Weary,
          Is  with  us  still.