The Ground, It Breathes
By: OCdt Eliza Bruce, (III, CSC), 27472
Oh, now you listen? Then unstop your ear;
thousands have fallen, so bloodied, right here
struck down with poison, shell, mortar
paying the cost of an ill-advised order.
We fly above and beyond the call of death.
Jump for the glory, or so they say—
Who knows where we’ll land today.
Arc of fire: deadly.
Rate of fire: bursts of 3, 1 to the head, 2 to the core.
On your own time, fire.
As we decry our stapled souls,
the artillery shells in deathless holes
land, and split the chalk in two.
The internal tunnels shudder—
cracked clay breaks apart
to make room for the swarms of bodies
bursting to the surface of the cemetery.
A grimy pit of trench in the ground,
mass graves, nameless names,
blood churning in the earth—
dead rounds and empty casings in its possession.
Nature now attempts to shroud the remnants—
horrors that should never have been now covered in vines.
No birds, no ghosts of the air, no song.
And yet, some strange measure of peace I find,
when I listen to ground. It breathes.
Ed Note: 27472 OCdt Eliza Bruce composed this poem during the Battlefield Tour over the Reading Week with a selection of RMC cadets and staff.
We expect to have more BT articles (from different perspectives) next week.
Issue 8 – Table of Contents: