On the wire

On the wire, sharp teeth gleaming in the night,
Corpses gather sadly, as if afeared,
Of the darkness, and, huddled close and tight,
Wait they ’till sight of light at last appears,
To deliver them to death on speeding wings,
Kitchener’s boys, as green as grass no more,
Welcome that certainty the bullet brings,
Hoping to forget; the veterans of war.
 
Men walking; dead men walking, see them? There!
Dead men stumbling blindly towards their end,
Through the slough of sin, the stench of frightened air,
And over the bodies of forgotten friends,
Trusting a lie to keep them sound and safe,
In the open, swift seen, and, under fire,
Caught still, just watching the machine-guns strafe,
Helplessly hanging; the corpses on the wire.
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Filed under Beyond The Grave, My War Poetry

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