by Dominic Bond
I’m sure I’d left in in my pocket but damn it, it was gone. This would happen now. Everyone’s lining up. I don’t want them thinking I’m scared. But without it in my hand, they’ll see it shaking. I can’t put my hand in my pocket. Damn it. Where’s my rifle.
So let’s see, Watson on one side, Sharp on the other. Sharp has his eyes closed. I think he’s praying. Don’t like it when someone prays. It will be fine, like Captain said. Over and onwards. My hand is shaking. Damn it. Just calm. Look straight ahead. Can’t say I’ll miss this place. That damn smell.
Must write to Josephine later. She’ll think I’ve forgotten her. Hope she misses me. After today, won’t be long ‘till I’m back. At least it doesn’t smell there. And there’s no rats. Must think about a school for the boys. I know what father will say but I’m not keen. Hated that place. See what Josephine thinks.
Damn shelling has stopped. Thank god. On and on it goes. Chap can hardly think. Look at my boots. Haven’t had a decent shine on them for ages. Oh, Sergeant calling us forward, one pace. There we go. He looks nervous. Surely he’s done this before? Feeling worse now. If he’s nervous, then…okay, slow, breathe. That’s it.
What are the others doing? Sharp has opened his eyes. Said his prayer, it seems. Watson is so still. He’ll be okay. We all will be, Captain said. Been in the papers, how well it’s all been going. We can’t lose. Never ever shall be slaves, all that. Greatest nation in the world. Let’s do it for Blighty chaps.
Sergeant is holding the ladder. He has the whistle at his lips. Oh god. Oh god, oh god, oh damn god. Quick, rifle ready. There it is! Quick, up the ladder, go on Watson, get over! Here we go, here we go, through the wire, slow, don’t run, they said don’t run! Damn wire, I’m bloody stuck! What is that pain? It hurts, it bloody hurts, whatever it is.
It’s okay, lie still, they’ll find you, it’s okay. Where is it? There. It’s hot, so damn hot! Want to pull it out but can’t, damn! It’s okay, they’ll be here. Listen to that noise. Damn loud. Hope the others make it. Damn! It hurts, god it hurts! What would Father say? Huh! Useless boy! Not my fault, father, damn wire was everywhere. Wish they’d hurry. Really hurting now. Damn.
Dominic Bond writes poetry and tries to do other things; hopefully other people will like them.