When I joined and wore my khaki uniform girls lined the streets, they kissed and hugged me,
I was six inches taller and so very proud, my dearest wish was to be in France at the front,
Swaggering, I walked in my hob nailed boots they sparked as they noisily scraped the ground,
All the boys from my village joined we were treated with pride we enjoyed our new adventure.
We were all teenagers with fresh faces as we marched to the trenches we had second thoughts,
Men wounded carried away from the carnage, bandaged, covered in filth, limbs missing oh God,
Exhausted faces some one shouting, 'march this way! march this way', towards the heavy guns,
Marching with hearts beating fast with mingled rapture, butterfly's a new dread of tomorrow.
The truth was here, did we ever dream that so dark a day would come, the swaggering stopped,
The harsh sounds of a thousand boots in unison crashing to the ground gave me goose pimples,
We marched by rivers and marshes past oak trees budding and birds sang in the early morning,
A thrush stood on an overturned blasted lorry singing a rhapsody, an ecstasy, we marched on.
Plum-bloom falling in showers on gentle breezes, blowing white carpets over the muddy ground,
Villages, left behind will have maypoles on the green, girls with ribbons in their soft hair,
Wild cherries in flower, rockets purple and white in full bloom, kissing sweethearts in woods,
Wallflowers in cottage gardens, rich masses of gold and delicious deep spicy country smells.
What have we left behind, what are we going to, now so near the cannons whump the rifles spit,
Single file along mud corridors then onto the front line stepping over men finding our places,
Watching the rats, smelling the stench, corpses rotting, unreal faces and gut wrenching wounds,
Looking along the line, every thirty yards a non commissioned office reeled off the many rules,
This will be my last place on scorched earth, people laying dead, rotting just a few feet away,
I will ever see my loved ones, my home or the colours of a fresh spring day, my time is written,
My dad will mow the corn, and pick apples from a orchard by a meadow, the meadow by the stream,
A premonition, I know will be true, will leave me and my friends lost in a foreign brutal land,