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One Last Push | Expat Poetry

One Last Push | Expat Poetry

One Last Push

by Carol Moore

 

Morning sunrise, the smoke bellows up

Across the field, then seeps into the sky

The smell of despair creeps in and around

Amongst cigarette butts lying on the ground

 

He bellows an order, chest heaving deeply

His mouth is wide screaming that we must push on, keep going!

Coldness and fear are simmering around us

The dug out and dirt is disgusting and dank

 

We look at each other, eyes locking in at the same thoughts

A quiet nod, how did we get to this?

Bang! Thud, another thunderclap of shelling

But how do we keep going and do we really still care?

 

I hold my precious chain and photos so dear

My sweetheart back home and children who play so warmly

In the soft evening falling light, laughing

With their innocence shining through

 

Squelching and screaming, they pull a man past me

With limbs dragging, disjointed and bleeding

When will we stop going over, never to return

That sinking feeling of I am next

 

Slowly, we drag our feet through the dark slippery trenches

Sticking like superglue in the mud

Knee deep, not wanting to go

The major shouts deafening!

 

What can I do? I look at the sky lit up like a bonfire

I owe it to my countrymen, we all make the sacrifice

The promise I made, but sweat slowly drips down to my heavy boots

Stinging my weary eyes

 

One last push toward the dugout ladder

One last heave and deep heavy sigh

Force my body up and over, rifle turned outwards

Ready for battle! We cross together