Wire: A Poem

Written while I was taking a class on First World War poetry.

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How long your half-held body stood
    Upon the fence no one can say;
Only your blank eyes, if they could,
    Would note the rise and fall of day.

The line behind moves forth and back,
    The line ahead shifts with the hours;
And yet the wire is still and slack,
    Resisting all their mortal powers.

This wretched soil is barren now,
    Drowned with a terrible red flood.
Only the dead will dare to plow,
    With bones, the ground grown soft as mud.

And now, at least, your eyes shall miss
    The bloody rise of battle-mourns
As, sheltered from the stench and hiss,
    You sleep within your shroud of thorns.

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