The trenches are awash with mud.
We share this hell with rats and dead
while mortar shells scream overhead
and all the world is choked with blood.
We came as boys: some never aged
but died with childhood in their eyes.
Should we grow old, their fearful cries
will haunt us. So, like scapegoats caged
before a hungry tiger’s eye,
we wait for them, the bloody foe,
to charge with bayonets and know
what we must do, but never why.
This futile madness makes me weep.
Such sacrifice for little gain.
Fear only quelled by fearful pain.
Let death be but an endless sleep.