Collateral Damage

I heard of a doorway tied to wooden pegs
and women entered to bathe the Grandmother with milk.
The pregnant offered their breasts to bowls –
all of them wore black in the midday sun.
Men gathered any wood they could find,
laid her to rest on walking sticks, fruit crates –
and driftwood of a cot that sailed away from its occupant.

I heard of a canvas mansion stretching eight miles long,
visible from the flickering chandeliers of earth
blowing out heaven as lights leave billowing eyes.
In this home is a doctor dragging pans to the well,
picking out flies and remnants of parched mouths
who beat him to it by chance of where they live.
His cracked heels are a map from Syria to section twelve,
he is watching his Mother go home from the flames.

Antony Owen is from Warwickshire, England. He is the author of four poetry collections by Heaventree Press, Pighog Publishing and Hesterglock Press. His poems have been widely published worldwide in several literary journals, including translated work in war poetry anthologies in Japan and Poetry International (Europe).

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