Roy Brown and the Corpse of Manfred von Richtofen, April 22, 1918

By Blake Lynch

The coroner kicked the gurney out into the light,
and lowered the sheet to show the bastard beaten,
stripped without hope, and his lips ready to whistle
Blue Danube to the angels with blood still in his eyes.
Can I say I wanted to hold him to the dirt floor
because I knew for certain I would never die?
Even if I waded into the Somme cursing the thunder,
it was in no arcadia I could find.  I had skinned
the lion of his mane and slipped into the night.
Not even the hawks that fled from the burned field
around his broken cradle can follow me anymore.
Nor the ghosts who hovered over his body, hauled
not to Cavalry but over a path of soot and rain
like Judas, who daddy said, hawked his silver
for a woman’s silk against his lips and heard
the wolf dog scream in every alley long before
they dragged him down in the potter’s field.
We are the fallen navigators. Children of swine.
We drove our brothers face-first into the Earth.
and now not even the King’s Army can stop
the oil spilling from my lips as the Baron dances
like a king of flames and rubble against my wings.
Blake Lynch is a screenwriter and recent graduate of New York University. His poems have been published in several print and online publications, including Chelsea, Poetry Motel, King Log, Mannequin Envy, Stray Branch, The Potomac Journal, The Idiom, 2River, and Oak Bend Review.

One Response to “Roy Brown and the Corpse of Manfred von Richtofen, April 22, 1918”

  1. lapia says:

    Very powerfully written. A touch of flight. A touch of remorse. A touch of indignation.
    An earthy metaphorical poem. Nicely done. Thank you for the read.