This poem appears in the Spring 2023 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe to the journal, click here.

The front lines bristle with metallic gray.
For miles the land is pockmarked by the war
That leaves another hardened steel-core day
Lodged deep in summer 1944.
Flesh hangs from mortar wounds. The injured moan
For mother. Mud turns bloody in the grass.
Fresh corpses veiled with plaster dust lie, stone
And statuesque. A voice calls all to Mass.
The soldiers find the chaplain with his case.
A medic’s deftness in his hands, he lifts
The weathered wooden lid, inclines to face
Brass vessels polished bright as wedding gifts,
And, as the sour wind lashes at his stole,
Takes up the chalice, paten, cross, and bowl.