The Patriot

The Patriot
By A.Z. Foreman

With thanks to Thom Gunn

His mind was like his village under fire,
Broken open the day his dad was shot,
When his nation sniffled surrender through a wire.
The nation recollected, he forgot

In all the good use the Resistance won
From him. Jet-black hair-trigger dignity
Could hold his courage steady as a gun,
Morale more steadfast than morality.

All over the map those moments: life by knife.
History shrieked still under his soleless tread.
Take out the colonel. Leave his woman alive.
Rosily well each mission went and bled.

It made the heart a bloody perfect tool
No torturer could blowtorch. In his one eye
The incorrigible cause hardened to cool
Truth no fact could liquefy.

When he held down the woman in Berlin
That he was raping, he could therefore clench
His fingers coolly on the bruising skin
And shudder only at her broken French,

Could watch her father snivel at the gun
And feel disgusted only by the snot,
Judged that a race deserved as it had done,
Breaking her open as her dad fell shot.

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