Second Place
$100 Award


by Jeremiah Bragg

A stodgy old man Lumbering along Through the filth of the bog at twilight An amber moon shines through the gloom A solitary owl takes flight

Hear the sounds from the road up ahead Tis the ghosts of Lord Kitchener’s Army Clapping and shouting Joyful music is played From the usually mournful bagpipes

The high-stepping subsides before the old man’s eyes As each soldier Sinks beneath the muck of the bog The last to sink low is a boy who followed His heroes to their plight

The stodgy old man Lumbers along Through the mist of the bog at dusk A blood red moon shines above the gloom A solitary owl screeches into the darkening night

Where did youth go—off to war—to play The game is gone the actors delinquent Silenced by the filth of the bog at midnight No clapping, shouting, or singing Four thousand three hundred thirty are taken