The name on the list of the drowned 
from the dark Atlantic burial ground:

James Ward. He’d worked on our farm,
a village man. Not a false alarm.

I can’t reveal this convoy’s been destroyed
until the sergeant says that it’s allowed.

The Wards, our neighbours who had cried 
with my mother when my brother died

in Egypt. Next day I’m home on leave
pausing     pausing      for their grief. 

At last the dark-blue boy 
pedals his bike to their door 

to hand over the telegram of death.
And I release my faithless breath.

Meet the Poet

Moira Garland’s publications include The North and Dreamcatcher and forthcoming in Stand, and Sarasvati. Recent anthology inclusions are The Brown Envelope Book (Culture Matters) and At Home in Our City (Leeds Poetry Festival 2021).  Winner: Leeds Peace Poetry prize 2016. Twitter/Instagram: @moiragauthor