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Heroes by Patricia Boulton

This poem was submitted by Patricia Boulton and it’s called Heroes.  If you’d like to submit a story, or some other submission, for us to consider then please use our contact us form

warWorld War One.
We did it at school.
The soldiers were brave and old fashioned and distant.
The grainy pictures show a host of strangers, now angels.
Look again.
These are not soldiers at all
But boys like you.
Not images, but lads with girlfriends, prospects, acne, mothers, dreams, nicknames, good brains.
They too loved music, rugby, dancing, beer, footy, laughter, their mates.
Think of that.
Soon after this picture, they saw the destruction of their pals:
Shattered jaws, unshaven yet,
Brains which should have set them up for life
Festooning the mud walls of the trench.
And the stench.
Rats like Jack Russells feasting
on muscles which will never again flex at the spade or in the factory.
Think of that.

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