By Neil Andrew

I spoke to you in whispers

As shells made the ground beneath us quake

We both trembled in that crater

A toxic muddy bloody lake

I spoke to you and pulled your ears

To try and quell your fearful eye

As bullets whizzed through the raindrops

And we watched the men around us die

I spoke to you in stable tones

A quiet tranquil voice

At least I volunteered to fight

You didn’t get to make the choice

I spoke to you of old times

Perhaps you went before the plough

And pulled the haycart from the meadow

Far from where we’re dying now

I spoke to you of grooming

Of when the ploughman made you shine

Not the shrapnel wounds and bleeding flanks

Mane filled with mud and wire and grime

I spoke to you of courage

As gas filled the Flanders air

Watched you struggle in the mud

Harness acting like a snare

I spoke to you of peaceful fields

Grazing beneath a setting sun

Time to rest your torn and tired body

Your working day is done

I spoke to you of promises

If from this maelstrom I survive

By pen and prose and poetry

I’ll keep your sacrifice alive

I spoke to you of legacy

For when this hellish time is through

All those who hauled or charged or carried

Will be regarded heroes too

I spoke to you in dulcet tones

Your eye told me you understood

As I squeezed my trigger to bring you peace

The only way I could

And I spoke to you in whispers……


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