Poetry — In Memory of the Fallen III

Prisoners of War

We walked on shards, metal slivers
that sliced clean through our cardboard soles
We were told to move on, not to linger here
there was no comfort in this place anyway

We marched single file through mud and rain
so cold that we could no longer feel our bodies
we stumbled and fell
The butt end of a rifle slammed into our backs
such force, we collapsed face first into the mud

Pulling us up by our jackets, they set us upright
gently nudging us with the rifle this time
And on we went, two days and two nights,
no food or water, only a few hours sleep,
just forging ahead to somewhere

We weren’t allowed to speak
just a code of nods and winks got us through
When we finally reached our destination
a battle had ensued
There was nothing left of the camp but death
Our code traveled down the line: attack

With but twenty of them and a hundred of us,
we took our chances and advanced
slaying them easily with a snap of their necks
A few of us died and we buried them that day
but left our abductors out in the rain

© 2013 Lori Carlson


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