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Leon Gellert: The Husband

A poem a day
International WWI Poetry Month

The Husband

Leon Gellert (Australia, 1917)

Yes, I have slain, and taken moving life
From bodies. Yea! And laughed upon the taking;
And, having slain, have whetted still the knife
For more and more, and heeded not the making
Of things that I was killing. Such 'twas then!
But now the thirst so hideous has left me.
I live within a coolness, among calm men,
And yet am strange. A something has bereft me
Of a seeing, and strangely love returns;
And old desires half-known, and hanging sorrows.
I seem agaze with wonder. Memory burns.
I see a thousand vague and sad tomorrows.
None sees my sadness. No one understands
How I must touch her hair with bloody hands.