long prom dresses 2019

Eric Harvey
Yesterday at 13:59
Forgotten Soldier
All the world he ever knew is gone
Damp bedsit keeps him from the cold
He hardly sees the sun that shone
Old soldier once so brave, so bold
For king and country he once served
With Lee Enfield, post is manned
The medals, now long gone , deserved
For a few pounds, pressed in shaky hand
Meagre pension spent on food and rent
A few bob left for electric fire
Yet for his life he does not lament
Although his life at times is dire
The kettle whistles on the stove above
Tea bag meets mug for the third time
hand around handle donning fingerless glove
That hides the sores amongst the grime
Grey old eyes stare over steaming cup
Clutched with both hands for the heat
Sore chapped lips take another sup
Of the tea, milkless and unsweet
Old washstand in the corner stays
Though not used for three weeks and a half
No water in the house for days
Since turned off by waterboard staff
Yet water runs down blistered walls
And gathers on top of the skirting
Sad eyes slowly close, his mind recalls
World war one and all it's hurting
He's suddenly back in the trench
Full of friends so tired, so brave
Knee deep in the mud, the blood, the stench
Knee deep in a ready made grave
Down steep narrow steps into muck and mire
Along splintered duckboards, into the dugout
Safety at last from the line of fire
Respite from the battle until the next bout
One precious hour of sleep in a bunk
Beneath low ceiling, dull flickering light
Head in a spin as though punch drunk
One precious hour before return to the fight
Although exhausted, sleep would not come
Was that a rat that ran over the bed
Head still banging like a drum
What would he give for a dry bedspread
All too soon he returns to the fray
Across rat eaten boards above the mud
German machine guns begin to spray
And their artillery barrage lands with a thud
German bullets whistle over their heads
In the hellish earthquake of Passchendaele
The stench of corpses, the limbless dead
As the enemy again begin to assail
Shell craters full of bloodstained water
The intolerable horror returned to his mind
Millions of men brought to senseless slaughter
Where explosions and screams together bind
In the trenches death and devastation brewing
Never ending screams and howls through the night
One young soldier his last breath spewing
As chaplain talks him through last rite
Suddenly a deadly silence descended
The Captain immaculate, from dugout came
German barrage temporarily suspended
Leaving only the cries of the wounded and lame
They knew from his sad look, they were over the top long prom dresses 2019
Which caused adrenaline and fear to flow
But in that dank place they would rather stop
For out there were the deadly foe
The whistles blew so cold, so blunt
Young men clambered out to their death
The enemy opened fire all along the front
And hundreds drew their last breath
'Come on brave lads' the Captain yelled
As a bullet slammed into his chest
Into the mud that brave man was felled
Alongside others who had failed the test
like lambs to the slaughter the young men ran
Hindered by barbed wire and mud
Into the hell of no mans land
But most just cut down where they stood
The old soldier woke as memories stirred
Those memories he'd held for sixty years
Yet not once had he ever spoken a word
Though many times eyes had filled with tears
A home fit for heroes was promised to all
But they returned to slums and no work
Four years earlier they heeded Kitcheners call
And not one would their duty shirk
His wife and two children taken by flu
After he returned from the front
Just a locket left of all he knew
All other family bore the brunt
Back here in the eighties people didn't care
How many died for country and king
There was striking and discord everywhere
They didn't owe these brave men a thing
The old man drifted into unconsciousness
Hypothermia was setting in fast
He finally slipped out of his battledress
And the old soldier breathed his last
So, lest we forget, wear your poppy with pride
For those men who gave lives without fear
Remember those who for freedom died
And remember those still here!!!
Eric Harvey 2017