Archive for poetry
Body on a Wire
He’s been there now for three days. Hanging on the wire, sideways, hands clutched at the rim. He nearly made it over the top but the Maxim machine gun caught him at the apogee of his flight and left him forever suspended in space and time. The men make macabre jokes to ease their tension. ‘He’s grown a little thinner today.’ ‘I don’t like that aftershave you have on today Ben.’
The blood has dried and crusted over the dozen or so exit wounds in his back and the smelly excreta has finally been overcome by an even more malodorous scent as the flies start their relentless feeding and laying of eggs. We would cut him down but we don’t want to end up as scarecrows on the battlefield. We argue amongst ourselves who is the more inhumane.
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Bombs will fall
He drops them a nightly message in a weighted steel tube. They’ve lived like this for months. Hard times. She reads the few words to their son, tears staining her faded coat. ‘Daddy is well. We will see him soon. He had a croissant and strawberry jam for breakfast. He sends his love.’The boy doesn’t understand. She finds it hard to understand, her husband and lover up there, her in occupied territory. He flys bombing missions. Nightly destroying the very buildings he had created. To make them free in some imagined future, in some far off time. She could only look into the black sky and hope that he could read her thougths. ‘Fly on my love. Finish this’ Tonight he will not return. He will lose his life over Amiens, when the unyielding end of a 8mm shell will explode inside his body. It will destroy his liver, spleen, pancreas, his left lung and then enter his heart where it will instantly end this nightly ritual. She will wait, night after night, boy on her hip, looking up.. ‘Daddy will come. He will have had coffee and rolls. He loves us.’ .