(After Pat Barker’s novel ‘The Eye in the Door’).
I was reborn in a shell hole,
within Picard clay,
a petulant child.
Sibilant shrapnel hissed overhead,
my voice similarly sibilant since.
The vessel was stuck, unable to move and deal with the pain.
And then I came, again.
‘Steady on the left!’
Until, standing alone, I went into the shine of the sun.
Back home, with those who have not been in France, I struggle to contain my contempt,
and stammer like a machine gun.
© Duncan Cleary, 2009.