Oh sail this ship on holy water
Let storms be gone today
For the voice of life seeks a tender heart
Away from these fields of despair
A soldier needs God to recognise me
This letter of life, this beacon of hope
Pray land on mother’s doorstep
And give my family the hug
That I cannot bring
For this brings peace to me
The hands of the children
Reach out to fathers gone
I pray that they will remember me
For time has made a stranger
In my babies memory
I fear on my return
They will not know me
And wife you will not see
The handsome man of marriage
For war has made me old
This withered face will tell no stories
So pray do not ask me
My youth has been lost
In generals words and one more push
And my mind has accepted this slaughter
The man that closed the door of home
Life will never be the same for me
My words belong to the soldier
Not to my lovers tears
For we compete with the dead
Epitaphs are our confetti
Littering every street
These once happy bodies
Lay in no man’s land
And they’re pain
Are companions to me?
Their faces call out
“Come join the ranks”
And we who know our fate
Scribble with trembling hand
Will this bombardment never cease?
For fear is all over me
Concealed behind my pencilled words
Except from all who share death with me
Lies a truth lost in the darkest night
The darkness that possesses this life
For war is a father to me.
I am the guardian
Of this decomposing life
Only my corpse can give you the truth
So this letter will stay with me
I will send to you, my beloved wife
Thoughts that will protect your life
I cannot write fancy words
I am fine and I miss you
Hope you and the kids are well
It’s not so bad here
And with gods will
This war will return the man
That is me.
P S your love will always be with me
Should I die please remember me.
Let me sleep in English soil
For England is my home
Though England will be the death of me
© Copyright 2016 steven cooke. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Other
Short Story / Historical Fiction
Short Story / War and Military
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