NaPoWriMo Day 12 – David

(Apologies for the hiatus, I’ll be catching up with posting my NaPoWriMo poems this week…)


We’ve stopped here by a ditch,
across the sea from home;
guns across our chests, peering
like Eagle Eyes action men.
It’s wetter here, more clouds;
the sky drips more, but still
I know this grass, this hedge,
this trigger in my hand.
This poky town known for
pottery vases, creamy
like the milk the cows
gush, fed from meadows hereabouts.
And now we’re on the way,
our fags flicked in the ditch
and we’re crossing by the bridge
when the sun comes through the clouds
and takes my mate beside me.
I watch as one last breath
claws from his ragged chest.
Behind him, another pal,
flung between the sky and the ground
without his heart, as I reel.
I’m no longer a boy,
not yet a man.
I’m green and fresh
like this Irish grass.
I hope to take this home,
this heat and light, the flying
metal and blood,
to chew the cud of this
experience, taste its bitter grass
and gush the tears of guilt.
I’ll not bear a grudge
or hate in my heart
or talk about it much,
this war of men
below these streaming clouds.

Twenty-year–old soldier killed in a land mine attack on a British Army (BA) mobile patrol in County Armagh  by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). 

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