Deva (short version)

Thrax was sharp and distinctive:
replete in his fine scalar armour
an authentic steel helmet, a local wool cloak
and a girded flat sword that cuts and thrusts,
which marked him…

as he spoke, to advocate a world-view long gone
save for fragments – of stone and mosaic,
of formative concepts and habits of thought;
to sketch lives as they came to a crossing
of wilderness and west…

of inked sardonic veterans of service
watching for rewards within the empire
against wild-eyed blue-skinned warriors dying to be free
in flames of honour;
bound in kind by different customs.

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