I carried something deep inside
my pocket like Frodo's ring
with the cruel gravity of Jupiter making every step beside you a slog through Russian snow
I never told you
I couldn't bear the thought
you wouldn't fight
and oh how valiant you were!
Even that French emperor that I have in pewter in a box in storage
would have thumped you on the shoulder
Oh tu as un cœur de lion!
yet a lion had already clamped its teeth into your shoulder
and you fought impossibly
until you finally fell into that shadowy shaft without knowing that I had carried a secret for eighteen months
that you, mon brave soldat, had only six months to live