We were drawn by numbers to the line

A firing squad in all but name.

So in the early morning light, we had dressed

And our deeds were blessed

As we marched to take our place in the row,

Ordained by others to deal the final blow

Of sharpened lead that would rise from our earthy post.

 

And as we wait, the cries of prisoners from their cells

With no case to answer, we were told, broke the icy air.

I saw their eyes, wide with blood-stained tears,

As they were pushed into place for us to choose

How we could make easy their dispatch a joy for us

That was to share and tell how we were brave

And then forget them as we make for home past ranks of the dead.

 

They lie proud in rows, our Glorious Dead, they will say

With broken necks and bloodied breasts where once a heart would beat.

And as the sky grows dark and cold turns trodden leaves to brown

A few are left behind, with necks entwined but still with life.

They were not deemed good for us, and so without fuss

Their warmth bled into the ground taking their life away

And a fox will stand and protect his prey.

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