Patrick O'Reilly

Rookie (1988 / St John's, NL)

A War Promise - Poem by Patrick O'Reilly

Goddamn them all!
I was told for just one summer
We'd go to Flanders
And we'd march back home
Men,
And Victorious.

Instead I crawled on my belly,
Like a snake through the grass,
Ducking under chlorine gas at Ypres,
Pissing on handkerchiefs
And stepping on dead friends.

It was months in the trenches
Sniping rats and scratching lice,
Breathing in foul tornadoes of dust
When it was dry.

And then, finally,
When all was quiet on the front,
The shelling stopped
And the birds singing,
I had time to close my eyes
And feel my ghost leg itching.


Comments about A War Promise by Patrick O'Reilly

  • (7/2/2006 1:06:00 PM)


    Wow Patrick this is excellent mate keep it up your a man among words. I loved the parody of 'when it was dry'

    Seamus
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  • (6/7/2006 8:10:00 PM)


    A very powerful poem Patrick...great imagery..great empathy to be able to place yourself in those trenches!
    Well done!
    10
    Dee
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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 1, 2006

Poem Edited: Monday, July 3, 2006


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