The Human Tragedy


The constant rocking.
Back and forth.
He wanted to follow the call of the whistle:
‘up and over’ boys.
But his gaze was lost in the blackness.
His breath rasped and hushed by whimpers.
His young cheeks were white washed under the mask and
His blonde hair was stuffed under the helmet and
The shells pounded against the dugout,

Deafening the second whistles rally.

But men streamed past him shouting

“We’re breakin’ through


He clambered to his feet,

Knees buckled,

Hands trembled.

But on he trudged, out into the sea of lime.

Bullets sped past.

Screams filled the air.

‘up and over’ he went.

Only to find himself embracing the mud,

As if it were his mother’s arms.


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