A Shakespearean sonnet by Liùsaidh
Truth is the first casualty of war
Remember them, we etch on walls of pain
We lay the wreaths, we offer our salutes,
Unnumbered crosses on some poppied plain:
Interred beneath lies mustard gas, and Truth.
How many does war claim that are not counted?
Statistics lie, they’ll say he lived his life.
For when the tales of war are thus recounted,
They’ll honour him discharged, returned to wife.
Still in the swamps, still in an Asian cage,
The horrors that he breathed, he’ll never tell,
Chemical wars, those curses of our Age —
At conflict’s end, he’s still chained up in hell.
Truth turns on bitter breezes. How we’ve sinned.
It’s Agent Orange blowing in the wind.
Liùsaidh (LJ McDowall) is a poet, author, and literary editor from Scotland. As LJ McDowall, she edits Quarterday, a poetry journal dedicated to classical poetry. Her poems have been widely published online and in print, most notably in Poets and War, Eastern Structures, Setu Magazine, the Ghazal Page, and many others. Her poetry has received honourable mention in the World Haiku Review and is forthcoming in Measure. She writes mostly of love and war.