1821 c/o Steven J Fowler

Lots of pains.
Of course the fancy foods were poisoned,
and it’s even hard not to picture the battle
through Sharpe,
and the retrospective emphasis on the role of chance.
We were lucky to win,
it was a damn nice thing,
the nearest run thing you ever saw...

In the conclusion of this fight,
he died. I saw his mask in the British Museum
for seven years, and this seems the case in every war ever.

There were little bird courses
more than other foods,
and there were many who slaved over his concerns with politics,
as though they were watching the battle on television.

But he has enjoyed a positive posthumous reclamation,
and probably because he made a good go of it
amidst a proud people
otherwise lacking this quality against it.

Yet it’s best to cover all at the end,
in a close-your-eyes with-your-own hands sort of stance.
We won.

They remember his attack was so brilliant,
they respected him, the twin figure of a man
falling upon the flaring lots of imagination.
He was near Byron’s Ode or Stendhal’s Vie military;
yet one sixth of the lives he led were lost.

A soft man of average height,
drowning in an inch of liquid,
warmed by the wave of sentiment
from which he was born.

It’s okay to miss blood and guts,
and big stacks of dead men.
He seats himself with the more generous of his enemies
to then appear to history.