The regiment parades

past the empty wicker chair
wound so tight against

the frame it protects
that supports it

to occupy a singular purpose


steps timed so even
the bell tower cowers

the brick and mortar of
parliament watching

knowing no matter
how right the angles

are always justified.


Still empty on the balcony
years after such painstaking assembly

tendons unraveling
integrity caving

beneath the weight
of mere weather

ghosts drift through
its avenue in snow.


Homecoming from
that war was quieter.

The bells tolled
victory desperately

and widows stayed
indoors for decades

wrapped in shawls
the mantle clocks unwound.

Their mending
was unrivaled.

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