There was a school here once, a flagpole
before which you might imagine lines
of schoolchildren, hands hovering above
their breasts. Stories from the last
world war inform us of favorite venues
for barracks: schools, hospitals, churches.
Footfalls echo down long hallways: of course
there are many dead buried in this soil.
Observe roots of trees burnished with age,
dressed in moss. The moon’s metallic disc
a bruised gong, rung too many times.