I want to tell you about last night’s full moon
and the strange peace I’ve found reading about
your war. Circles on my map of North Africa mark
the battle sites. I plot the gridlines of minefields,
gaps you’d crawl through with telephone cables.
I can’t place you, but no doubt you were under
the full moon (28 May 1942) listening to the rumble
of bombs along the Gazala line. The moon was there
every month, looking down on the catastrophe of war
(as it still does) in places far from this garden where
I listen to the woodpecker and watch the robin fight
the blue tit for a space on the feeder. I am filling in
the details because you never could. Why tell more
than you need? Why bring the war back home?
© Seni Seneviratne, from Unknown Soldier (Peepal Tree Press, 2019)