A Soldiers Flight from Madness

Posted on Mar 22, 2013


*I wrote this in honour of a soldier I once met when I was at school who came in to give a talk on the Battle of the Somme in which he fought. I remember him clearly talking and struggling as he remembered his horrific past. It has stayed with me until this day and will forever more. He was a child when he entered the war, lying about his age like many did. He was one of the bravest men I have ever met. This is for all those that have fought for the freedom we sometimes take for granted. We can’t know the true horrors in which they carry in their hearts and souls.

'Going Over' picture courtesy of www.1914.org

‘Going Over’ picture courtesy of http://www.1914.org

The soldier is shaking as he looks over the mud soaked trench
Flashes of light shine all over the sky
Fear in his gut, pulls like a wrench
He just wants to hide and cry

What he’s seen in his brief three months
Will give him nightmares for endless days
Bringing tears to his eyes his throat stifling a lump
What price does this soldier pay?

He knows soon that he has to go over
Rifle in hand, to kill or die
He holds tight his four leafed clover
Mother in his thoughts, why’d he lie?

Sense of adventure, doing the right thing
All he wanted was to make people proud
He is only fifteen, will he see sixteen?
This shouldn’t be allowed

A Child Soldier. Picture courtesy of www.iconocast.com

A Child Soldier. Picture courtesy of http://www.iconocast.com

His sergeant shouts it’s nearly time
Bayonet fixed, ready to take life
Why is this killing not a crime?
Does his victim have a child and wife?

With a sudden shout, they all go over
Screaming more in fear they charge
A bullet hits his shoulder
He falls, the hole so large

He screams for his mummy
Unbearable is the pain
Picked up by a Tommy
They charge again

In deeper to the enemy they go
Courage is strong
The mud making them slow
This is all wrong

An explosion sounds to the boys right
Bits of body fly all over the place
He decides to take flight
A bullet hits him in his haste

Graves of the Somme. Picture courtesy of http://www.ww1battlefields.co.uk/somme.html

Graves of the Somme. Picture courtesy of http://www.ww1battlefields.co.uk/somme.html

He is later caught for desertion
From the Somme of 1916 no one runs
Lined up against a wall
The shot fires from the guns

Three months he would have reached sixteen
Brave was he, a hero will he always be
Young as he was, wise in mind
Killed by our own for showing humanity.

Posted in: Poetry