Saltmarsh after the war

The track to the edge of the saltmarsh
is rough enough:
beyond that, the sky dips

I opened my eyes when the war ended, and
to me it was normal:
the broken buildings, the emptiness,
the echoes

There was no blood to tell the story,
as there is none here: just a map
in three dimensions –
an ordinary survey with graves not marked

But there is mud, sucking away flesh,
given the chance,
blind to ambition, even the smallest dream

Here is the unexpected future,
drawn with a dreadful beauty:
a man with the Second Coming in his hat
tells stories of healing
and the true nature of time

Out there the sea spreads its fingers silently,
paints new patterns on this naked body,
challenging the traveller to guess
which path leads home