Poem of the week this week comes from Kevin Powers’ Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, published by Sceptre. Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting was shortlisted for the 2014 T. S. Eliot Prize. You can hear a reading from his collection here.
‘Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting’
I tell her I love her like not killing
or ten minutes of sleep
beneath the low rooftop wall
on which my rifle rests.
I tell her in a letter that will stink,
when she opens it,
of bolt oil and burned powder
and the things it says.
I tell her how Private Bartle says, offhand,
that war is just us
making little pieces of metal
pass through each other.