The industry

We’re tagging and bagging them
delivering them to the gates
where if the truth’s to be believed
salvation awaits them,
the dead cannot tell us no lies.

it’s always a surprise to me
that Gabriel’s as surprised as me
to see so many men in the queue.

who you call them are all
dead men
the bullet hole brigade, the
IED made in cellars and sold
to the highest or the lowest
of bidders
laid to rest.

In the nuclear fallout
there’ll not be much point
in falling out with your neighbours

and so we tag and we drag them to Harlem
or Birmingham
each man to his home
every man for himself and
we’re left all alone

we wait
at the gate
for our friends to arrive
which is always a surprise
to me.

© 2016, John Smallshaw.