Do Not Trust to Hope

Gone to dust, returned to the soil.
Another empty place in our line.

Too many fingers yet curled around the reins,
Dead hands I've pulled away from
Beloved companions.
Too many uncomprehending equine eyes
Watching their masters set into the ground,
Covered over with earth and stone.
The familiar weight gone from their backs,
The well-loved voice stilled.
Mute questions unanswerable.
Do not trust to hope.

Too many men beloved as brothers
Whose life's blood yet stains their saddlebows.
Too many.
Somewhere inside, the small corner
That I allow to remain softened
Keens and weeps at their loss, mourns bitterly
And beats its fists.
I shut the door on it.

Too commonplace has death become...
Do not seek reassurance from me.
What hope have we?
Abandoned by our allies,
Surrounded by our enemies.
Trust not.

- Primula