White Feather, by Harry Gallagher

I am not a silent poet

How many young men Emmeline?
How many slouched off to slaughter,
stabbed by white feathers,
pinned by you and your daughter?
Did you find out what colour
white runs under gunfire?

How many cowards did you find Emmeline?
How many trembling wrecks
within sanatorium whitewalls?
How many missing legs,
heads that never recovered
from the mud and the blood?

How many feathers would it take
a boy to make wings,
fit them to his back
and fly away?

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