She rides her motorbike down the slim, unlined lanes of the country.
The tawny fields of tall grain whipped in the cool morning breeze.
Little farm houses off in the distance, behind grey stone walls.
You’d never know what had happened here, all those years before.
The land has healed, the trenches and barbwire all gone from sight,
Though the bones and blood and the sorrow still soaks the black soil.
She finally stops at the empty foundation by a tall and twisted tree,
The one she knows from the old photograph, her father smiling in
Uniform, a beautiful woman kissing his cheek, whom she doesn’t know.
She pulls a copy of the photograph from her pocket, looks at it now, trying
To find the remmnants, the ether of that happy afternoon, that sweet
Moment before the blood tide and black machines washed them away.
But it’s just an empty foundation, and an old dying tree, nothing more here.
She still doesn’t feel close to him, feel his spirit coming near to her own,
Just here in empty countryside, chilled despite the fact that it’s August.
Her father is back home, and hard to reach, lives in books and theology,
In internal debates about the hand of god and the fates of the angels,
Not in the voice of his daughter, not in her madness he passed on down.
She puts away the picture, starts the motorbike again, and roars down
The road, onto the sea twenty miles distant, to the waters over which
The Red Dragon came, and has returned now, the blood changing nothing.