For Frederick Le Poidevin, my paternal Grandfather, 
one of the few to return from . . .   

The Great War, “The war to end all wars"

Today I feel so raw
I hate any fucking war
All those years ago today
So many men died

Left in the mud
In a field far from home
Loved ones not there
Not able to mourn

Alone and afraid
Bleeding and cold
Never to grow old
Struck down in their prime
So many never to return

What thoughts in their heads
The whistle blows
And over the top
They rushed en masse
Into the teeth of hell

Barbed wire tearing flesh
Bombs ripping them apart
Bullets screaming through the air
Thudding into men
Shredding organ and bone

Scattered all around in pieces
Like offal on a slaughterhouse floor
No longer human
Just gobbets of meat
Lying on the sodden ground

So few came home
And those that did
Would never forget
The sights and smells
The noise, the terror

The nightmares remained
With them all their lives
For those men back home
The war never ended
Replayed in their heads

Unbidden the horrors
Recalled without warning
Breaking their souls
Countless times again
And again down the years

Unable to forget . . . . 
Lest we forget


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