Of Use: Seventh Allied Forces

Posted by ractrose on 3 Jan 2022 in Art, Poems

Pastel drawing of woman in headscarf




The Folly

Allied Forces





Of Use


To a life of unkind treatment

Toast a prayer—

any person with a heart

As to Krug it can’t matter, who you are



He had not had a father

Stray girls are placed in homes to bear the sufferings

The girl had been his mother

Twice, but only once

Twice, but only once—

Because they’d wanted him to live in loneliness…


Murdered for his constancy, as the workhouse chit

apologizing for the child at her skirts, whom she would agree

Mein Herr, surely, yes, to have sent

When old enough to be of use

‘He is only three’

Mouth-breathed through chores, her midriff marked

With an iron-shaped pain


…the sacrifice almost a bonus

Less Krug, in a world one Krug to the surplus


They had wanted him to help

And she, the second human touch he’d felt

If Agnes had not loved him, in so short a space

He had died for her

Yet understand, ye of little faith




The falcon is turned panther, stalking the dot

of a torch, a distracted voice chides a dog

It has found…the story makes itself plain…some object among leaves

And sniffs, and carries on sniffing

‘Get on with it,’ says the man

I shall, thinks Falco, but I wish you were not a disappointment

Keltenham, her I want, though you know it, sir, yourself

what she’s done

If I spotted her, I’d fling her down the ravine

And while she lay broken, bury her

So she’d count the minutes…one tossed stone at a time

And slow


It’s carrion the dog’s after, he thinks, inapropos

Close by, close by, foul and reminiscent

But crouching, the war come vividly again

Falco hears a gait…a limp, a dragging shuffle

He almost fancies he hears his name




Of Use

Could It Be
















(2022, Stephanie Foster)




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