Tag Archives: Soldier

Fields of Your Youth


Standing in a field like any other;

Similar to the ones you ran through as a child,

Care-free giggles, laughter and screams of glee, permeating all around;

So delightfully excited to be among your peers, playing at war, tag or what-not;

Punctuated by a stern reproach to ‘get back inside’!

Triggering an involuntary squirm echoing out into the distance before fading away;

A distant whistle precipitates an explosion, like lightning shattering a moment of reverie;

The child is a child no longer but a soldier with bayonet-fixed-rifle in hand;

He stands on a field less green than muddy, a drenched swamp that’s more bog than anything alike;

His karkey greens caked in wet, cold, mud;

Reflecting on memories when he played war as a child,

The adult version of the game (he grimly observed, taking shape around him) is more stark, morbid and visceral than could ever be realised;

A charge will soon be called by bugle horn,

And, he will run through this muddy marsh with bayonet thrust out;

Artillery shells, explosions and gunfire will ring out;

Shrapnel will take turns to scar, maim and shred you and the lads around you into mangled messes;

All of this you must confront head-on;

And stop only to cut through obstructing barbed-wire before continuing the onward charge,

Y’see: your own side will shoot you dead on sight for desertion,

Ahead of you lies the only bloody salvation available;

You have no choice but to move on;

Not all your friends will make it whole or at all,

Including you, if not for the grace of God;

So, make your peace with your maker for you will not get another chance,

The games you play are games no longer;

And memories of happier times-

Made so long ago, you can be forgiven for feeling you almost imagined them-

Are all you have.