Somme: Lament for love lost


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The silent lament weighed heavy on us

as we took leaden steps forward

over the carpet of death at our feet.

Lament for love lost, the opportunity cost

of ‘Your Country Needs You’

the finger pointing, an accusation aimed for the heart

mirrored now by the blasted tree trunk

and the broken spire

piercing the cloud-laden sky.

What sons, what daughters will never be born?

What sons, what daughters will be wasted in the mud and spilled guts at our feet?

Hours, and days, spent waiting, ribs near-breaking

in the silence

broken only by our breathing

and the scratch of pen on paper

a letter to Mother, to dear Daisy, the love of my life

to while away, to wish away

the terror, lurking, a great carrion crow over our heads

its black wings our mourning shroud

most likely


It’s 100 years since the Battle of the Somme. I have just seen a very moving video on my Facebook feed, via Channel 4 news – it inspired me to write this poem. I hope you can see it if I leave the link.