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THE SENTRY (standard:poetry, 368 words)
Author: eddiesoloAdded: Feb 04 2004Views/Reads: 1759/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A sad 7 minutes into the life of a WW I sentry.


Peering above the rim of soil I squint at the harshness of the flares. 

I steal a glance at my watch: 2:23. 

Breathing deep I try to clear the stench of fear, cordite and death. 

Like Mustard gas this smell has poisoned me, choked me. 

Cocking my head to the right I catch a ghostly silhouette running
through the night. 

I hear the chatter of a machine gun and hope this chap has made it to

I close my eyes as a cry of pain and terror flows over my trench. 

The figure I saw now lays in the mud, anguished and afraid. 

His only companions are the starbursts that hang lazily over the barren

Like angels they sparkle as they drift on silken wings. 

“Fear not brave soldier for God is here,” they seem to say. 

Solace not for the figure I can now see lit by this man made seraph. 

He cries out again but no one helps him, no one can. 

Realising that he is to die in the dirt he starts to whimper and sob. 

I tilt my helmet over my face so no one can see the tears that flow. 

I weep for this man...for I know his cry. 

I know the voice that cracks as he begs for help. 

I know this man. 

My brother lay dying and there is nothing I can do. 

Fighting the guilt and rage inside I wipe my face with a dirty sleeve. 

I take aim with my rifle and pray that the bullet runs true. 

Whispering I ask for forgiveness as I look out into no-mans-land. 

I breathe deep and then exhale slowly as my finger depresses the

The gun kicks, the noise is brother is silent. 

The starburst dims and I look at my watch once more: 2:30. 

Seven long minutes that I would relive over and over again. 

The light is finally so many lives. 

And I find myself alone again in the dark. 

To all those souls who fought on all sides and in all conflicts, may we
find a future where war is obsolete and mankind can achieve anything in 

Copyright Simon Murphy 2004


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