November Defensive

November Defensive

It was mid-November,
And the shelling always rained.
In our little dirt valley,
We sat and writhed in pain.

A periscope rifle barely
Preventing my death.
Barbed wire to look over:
A reminder of the dread.

Trenches we sit in every day.
Coming out to see the ashen snow.
Fixing the broken barbed wire
In the night, which I always tire of.

We wait and wait in the moist
Dirt terrain. Shooting at those
So cock-sure as
To get caught in the rain.

Soon poison had spread over
The craters and barriers
Both of our armies of young
Men had made.

These long snowy days
Had taken much out of me.
The paranoia and mania of
Becoming so beastly.

Dazzle camouflage deflections,
Shrapnel infections,
And brass anaphylaxis
All reign in this world.

Gas spread over mask faces.
My rifle stayed strapped
To my back and I clutched
My life tight as I waited

For the gas to dissipate.
The yellow menace
Would soon
Subside.

We waited.
I waited.
Still waiting.
Won’t stop

Waiting.

Holding the line,
Digging in,
This life will end savagely,
And then start again.

Begin the defensive,
Into the next November.
Come back to dig into
The dirt and old bones.

Rifles strapped and aimed
Over the trench walls
And into the enemies’
No-man domain.

Continue the fight.
Resume where you left.
You’ve been gone for so long,
You must learn it all again.

Snipers, trench foot,
Scurvy and soup pots.
Build the barricades
So you won’t get shot.

Fire the artillery.
Fight in the name
Of attrition,
It is your mission.

Remember the snow.
Be prepared for dirty
Water in the trench
Gutters to flow.

Put on your mask,
The gas is near, so
Let the menace come.
Oblige these past

Novembers to echo.

Leave a Reply