This poem is taken from Stand 217, 16(1) March - April 2018.
Each evening the real work starts, not at the front but in front of it: repair the wire, recover his guts, dig that sap, patrol or raid. The detail shivers in its crump-hole, funked by a Verey’s glow and the unreality of it all, its goal a cornered Hun to bring back alive with his terror and those photographs of home. The land itself has never been so intimately known, as you snout an earth flayed of its skin. This night gets lost to all whereabouts and a dawn that lifts too quickly at your shoulder. Reduced from subaltern to silhouette, an eye narrows on the cross-hairs, somewhere on high a lark sings and off clicks the safety-catch.