Heartland Poems-9

News of His Death

He dies, and goes to the underworld
to keep her deepest secrets, his too. From this
afternoon onwards, there shall only be silence

about what tragedies of a country he knows, all those
she inflicted upon us, all those he inflicted
upon her, and all those both wife and husband

inflicted upon the simple truth we hold dear.
We can never know this any longer.
The general has killed himself, and all the colonels

and majors of grandiose conspiracies, they have promised
to keep the vow of grave stones and street pavements
on which we blurt out what we cannot form

into words whose memes are our people's rage.
He dies alone somewhere, in the loneliness
of London, in the sterile ward that reeks of sin

and what it can offer to a man silenced
in the name of a brother’s flimsy honor, the family
more important than what this sad history

can uncover to tell us of wealth he did not deserve
but held it close to his chest nevertheless.
Brother and brother loving each other,

one brother the keeper of another, and here,
in these islands, they can go on to make another myth
of their greatness, and our people will never

ever remember how cruel this is, not anything, including
the calculations of generous dividends these brothers
will expect from not saying what needs

to be said. Words are cheap in this homeland,
and so are lives, but the wealthy die in
dedicated death rooms you pay in dollars, pounds,

or what class can offer. It is dying in style.
In the meantime, the poor die poorly,
dirt on their lips, dust on their loins.

Hon, HI/
jan 25, 2012

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