564. 1/7/16 (#556)
Pro Nihil Mori
Hell, or something close to it,
For they would have longed for the warmth of fire -
To feel more than the sodden stink of their boots
And the thunder of Howitzers in their bones.
But they knew the victory was coming.
Eight days, that would be enough.
Letting death fall
In the half-silence of creeping gas
And the unrelenting barrage of mortar fire
Raining like demonic hail upon the enemy.
They knew that victory was coming.
So they walked, that's all it would take -
A stroll to be heroes.
But all the waiting, enduring, lasting out
To climb up onto the crater-filled sludge,
Mown down in thousands,
And only then did they realise:
Victory was so much further away.