A Memorial

 Purple heather on a windswept hilltop

of the northern Pennines.

We tread carefully, lifting our boots knee-high

thighs aching with the effort

of all that heather. We watch for black adders

who slither effortlessly out of our way.

Animal corpses litter the ground.

We walk downhill past a burnt out croft,

blackened timber and rubble are laid out

in the sign of the cross. We walk along

the remnants of a stone path

and come across a seat, a memorial

to a soldier killed in Afghanistan.

His death like silence on the moor

heather in full bloom, purple as a bruise.

We sit with his name cast in iron on our backs

as the sun sets blood red over our heads.










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