The War Memorial
Jennifer Russell

In Brittany one year
I sat in a small hot square
women in black scuttled urgently into the church

an old man pushed a squeaking bike
to buy the lunch-time bread stick
the birds settled back in the trees

I read the names of the dead village boys
each one then a scream of grief
buried now into prayer

the left ones still cross the square
carry the bread, break it, dip it
suck down the loss again