My Little Boy

I’m teary now recalling the time

my son went off to the hateful front line

his jacket and boots in hand

he went to fight the German band,

of soldiers that were the same as him

in the same place, with the chocolate tin

a friend, wife or children’s gift

exactly the same as my poor kid

 

But are they the same? I highly doubt it

Thought of as “the boche” “there’s nothing cruel about it”!

But there is that harshness in their voice

as they go over the top shouting “let’s kill ’em boys”

 

The harsh reality of the war

seen by us at home as a trivial thing

but out there in Ypres they have wet socks to wring

At home we use it as an advertising slogan

but there they hear “missing in action”

 

I dream every night of that fatal day

When I receive that letter that will say

“If you are reading this I’m dead”

The words ring eternally in my head

It wrenches my organs up inside

I wish my son would never die

 

But this is the same for both boche and us

the world is unfair, destroys your trust,

in the leaders and officers that lead our boys

but shoot them if they don’t want to suffer the noise

that they hear each day

but they shouldn’t pay

for protecting our nation from enemies

who’s aggression was caused by a little sneeze

of misjudgement and a silly blank cheque

and transformed into four years of life-changing wreck

 

Alone, alone, so alone

My son travelled with friends to the battlefield

So young yet so old

so innocent yet so wise

so naive yet so… so…

 

Too young to die he was

“Missing in action” they said that day

The very thing that I was most afraid of

You can only imagine how I felt

The “knock, knock” on the door

You have no idea what it meant

I lifelessly dropped to the floor

As they said

“Your son is dead”

 

I will never forget those two days

The three and a half years imbetween are just blurs

Like black spots on a page

Lost in time like my son

I watched as his name was engraved on the memorial in town

Each stroke was etched on my heart

And it will be forever

Even until I die after my own little boy.

 

By Nathan Baker, Barnard Castle School