At the Front
Close now. I think. It’s hard to tell sometimes.
War takes away perspective with its taste
Of danger, its relentless jabs of fear.
Yes, we can see them. Just across the field,
Behind the trees but not quite out range.
Easy prey for our telescopic sights.
They’ll probably never know what hit them;
Two of them are down, the rest run away.
Bloody cowards, just like we would have been.
The commander punches air and slaps our backs.
Then something happens we did not expect:
A young soldier, with one white flag, appears
And asks if he can take his mates’ effects.
This done, he nods his head and smiles our way.
‘They are yours now,’ he says. ‘Please do things right.’
He knows we will. Because he would have done.