Sludge

 

He was sat in the trench

His best pal by his side

But the rats had gnawed off

His face and his eyes.

 

Slumped down in the sludge,

Rotting feet and fingers,

Bodies used as floorboards

The stench of flesh lingers.

 

The trench was well hidden,

The enemy were blind

But the next charge looming

A mere matter of time.

 

'It's you're turn Booth, you must

Fix that wire.' Major had cried

When a whizz-banger hit,

Shrapnel shot through his eye.

 

So up the ladder he went,

One last glance at his friend,

'I'll see you soon, my old man.'

No more time to pretend.

 

Over the top laid flat,

He crawled through bloody earth

Using old mate's faces

As support for his girth.

 

He got to the wire

And pulled a dead weight

Slung him to the ashes

Down to his burial place.

 

But this man seemed to choke,

And he rolled on his side.

Booth grabbed his blackened face

'Don't worry mate, you'll be fine.'

 

But then he heard the Others,

The Bosch in their harsh tongue

And bullets began to rain

Upon the two English sons

 

The half-dead soldier gasped,

As he was pulled upon

The other's back who crawled

Back towards the trench

Heaving

Slow

Sinking

Down

He got to the edge and

Pushed the other in,

Out of the gunfire

'Don't worry mate, the medic will-'

 

A bullet hit his back,

His leg,

Then his arm,

A final through the cheek,

Which did the most harm?

 

Alone and compressed

Returned to the ground

His wife's life broken

His body never found.

 

The End

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