I am younger than the century. A boy, you think,
But I am chained to a machine gun
Capable of ending a thousand lives
And this makes me a man.
There will be no withdrawl.
The officers have warned us:
Here, in our trenches, we fight or die
And no one is to cut me free.
In pity for my situation,
Don’t mistake me. I’m as frightened
As the newly wedded bank clerk we all tease
Who’s never known his wife; frightened
As the English, waiting to attack
When dawn reveals the cratered wasteground
Under my machine gun’s eye
Like, me, they’re chained to cirrcumstance;
The future doesn’t favour deals.
I have to trust my comrades and my gun:
No need to aim this thing. Bring on the enemy.
Let’s see some daylight. Death, release your slaves.
By Tony Lewis Jones