Reflection, July 1938

by Sue Butler

All day and night you tread water
in a well, hear soldiers shooting,
burying groaning bodies
on the mountain. When the bucket rattles
down, you dive. Near dawn
an exhausted conscript shines a torch.
 
He’s drunk. Hello, he calls
in posh Moscow Russian. Hello, you mouth.
Disappointed there’s no echo, he frowns,
shakes his head. You frown, shake yours.
He smiles. You smile,
wave back until he gets bored.