Morning Dispatch

by | Apr 21, 2009 | Poetry | 0 comments

He loved the darkness.
And its quiet stillness,
When the only sound was the pound of his heart,
And the quiet whisper of his breathing.

In that dark wilderness of a world
Only he was not sleeping
As long as he stayed awake
All would be well

Sleep only brought back the reality of daylight
That hid no horrors, and shattered silence,
With sounds that filled his head with dread.

Shells screamed, horses screamed,
And when the earth shook, it seemed
The whole world screamed.

He had lived a lifetime of such days.
Now lying lonely in the womb of his room
He felt safe

He was wounded and tomorrow
He would leave this place forever.
And that thought brought hope.

It was dark when they stretchered him
Out Into the quiet of a day yet to be.
Gentle hands lifted him careful into a chair
Covering his shoulders with a gas-cape
To keep out the cold morning air.

They bound him safe and sound
Then placed him on a mound of high ground
Leaving him lonely,

He waited, oh so impatiently to go,
He felt a thrill in the chill of anticipation.
A consummation of his expectation

His lolling eyes caught the first light
Of the day’s dawning,
Like a quiet smile
Blushing the rim of the world
And he warmed to the wonder of such beauty.

A far off sound of rifle fire
Flushed a bevy of birds,
Flying, crying into the red-eyed orb
Of that dawning morning.

His whole being rose up,
Up into that endless space,
Deep as love in eyes,
That kissed to dreamless sleep his soul.

The telegram and read
We write to inform you Pte. Paul Strickland aged 18 is dead.
Shot at dawn, on the morn of July 3rd. 1916 for cowardice


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