POEM: Remember ...1914

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The Unquiet Ground.

Remember; Ma shouting you in for tea, a beef dripping sandwich

Remember; The recruiting sergeant, weighing you up...”you sure you’re 18, lad?”

Remember; Boot camp, and the naming of parts, sister steel, strike hard!

Remember; Troop ships, where mules squealed and troopers puked, in the dark

Remember; A planet of morass whose muddy footprints, owners already gone west

Remember; scrabbling like an animal, nails snapping, digging, hiding from the iron rain

Remember; Long marches, wire, night patrols, more wire, whizzbangs and bleeding hands

Remember; An extra stripe awarded, for being the only one left

Remember; Mons, Verdun, Cambrai, Passchendaele, wasting a generation’s promise

Remember; 17 million dead, churned earth fertilised with sweat and desperation

Remember; A land unfit for heroes, no work, no food, no legs, no mind

Remember; Financiers arranging gold coins, on a polished counter, into ranks...

Adrian McRobb

Cramlington