My great grandfather used to say,
“The trenches were terrible, son,
All sorts of creepy crawlers running
‘round and round, scuffling over
Frostbitten wretches like it was their
Playground. Trenchfoot, trenchmouth,
All the nasty stuff you can ever imagine:
There it was, on the front lines,
Facing millions of Kaiser Wilhelm’s brutes.
And when you went over the top,
You felt a moment of life and death, suspended
In two worlds, bullets chasing your soul,
‘Till you came back to your senses
and started marching. One foot at a time.”
And so I walked, across no-man’s land
Across hundreds of feet of snow and dust,
Salt in my shoe and water in my socks.
Walking to the other side, where I thought
Home must be. So easily reachable
Yet so disgustingly repulsive.
-Anonymous, April 2014