Could I do it – The Cockney Bard

Could I wave goodbye with tears in my eyes to family and friends, loved ones, children crying for their father? Could I stand as a man and walk away? Slowly, painfully waving goodbye. And on the ship’s bow from a distance could I see dear England as we sail away? Could I turn to the past and my memories many for comfort, as slow away we pull. In leaving these shores would the torment drag my mind to the depths of despair, to wonder here and there what is to come.

Could I stand and fight for what is right with bayonet drawn on a foreign field where I may fall and die,  a death more painful than to say goodbye to one and all. Could I look in the eyes of a man I know not and plunge in a thrust and a twist. Could I see a man fall with death as my victory’s reward? Will a photo fall from the fallen foe? A child, a mother, a wife or lover? I don’t know.

Will I pretend my bravery as friends around me fall? Will the fear that I have show through the uniform I proudly wear. Thoughts of ‘you’re a soldier do your duty, your country needs you’ echo in my mind. My stomach knots, my throat is dry. Die a man you fool, you think like a coward. I hear the distant blasts, the cries and moans, I see the wasted lives lay torn, soldiers scattered across fields where once flowers stood saluting the sun. Time ticks so slowly on hell’s journey thinking of a return that may never come!


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