Dying in the Battle of Arras, 9 April 1917

As poet/soldier, I should be better describing battle. Like entombed Lazarus, from tunnels we emerge meters away from the front lines, sleet and snow unable to mask the enemy’s surprise. German machine guns mow boys running into a silence only death provides.

In a shell-hole, I seek cover. Lads beg for Mother to hold what is left of them. When the enemy climbs inside, his hands, my throat, my last thoughts: Above this field, I hear flowers grow and children romp in noisy packs. In their footsteps I cannot follow, I have lost the day I will never win back.

donnarkevic: Nutter Fort, WV. MFA National University. Recent poetry has appeared in Triggerfish, Nassau Review, and About Place Journal. A Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee. Poetry Chapbooks include Laundry, published in 2005 by Main Street Rag. FutureCycle Press published Admissions, a book of poems, in 2013. Many Sparrows, a book of poems, was published in 2018 by The Poetry Box. Plays have received readings in Chicago, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia.