In the run-up to Remembrance Day, I’ve been featuring war-related poems. Today’s is Turquoise Sky.
The fact that 60,000 casualties occurred on the first day at the Somme may give the impression that this was a battle speedily ended. This was far from the case.
Fighting continued for some four and a half months and resulted in over one million dead or wounded.
The child’s eyes are full of fear. He sees
light subtly altered, fields pulsating red.
Be a brave soldier, his mother soothes
and tucks him back in bed.
His father’s eyes are full of fear. He yells:
Get ready Men. Men tremble in the pit
then go over the top, following his shout.
Soldiers in dirty khaki kit.
No time for words or thoughts of home.
Only a moment to glance upwards and spy
something silver falling towards him
out of a turquoise sky.