in a canal escarpment on the Somme: glutton

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I live
in a hole
in the ground

I share it
with a rat
and some lice
that think they own me

we have reached
an agreement
a compromise
about the food

I eat
from soggy ration packs
the lice
eat
from me

the rat
will not discuss
his cuisine
or culinary treasures

but I talk to him
so sleek
I tell him
not to eat
too much
of my ex-comrades

better
to go find
the enemy
though I think he finds it
hard to choose
between the who and who

water
in the trenches

I lost a toe
last winter

cold and hot
and ice
and water

thank god
the rains let up
thank god
they still send us cigarettes
from time to time

sometimes I feel
I can hide myself
inside a twirling column
of the grey that flows
when I light up

I could just
disappear

I don’t
really
live in this
hole in the ground
where you’ve found me

I’m only temporary
passing through
resident
for just a short while

my home
is somewhere
further
a small away off
in the trenches

among the craters holes
of mud and blood
left behind
by falling shells

one day
they will bury
my lice and me
(whether I am dead
or not)

did I happen to mention
my rat

he will remain
when I must leave

good luck to him
and may he die
a glutton

certainly
I hope he dies

a glutton

14 thoughts on “in a canal escarpment on the Somme: glutton

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