We marched up in ranks, from the crease at the base of the hill.
Trees on the crest waved breezes past our necks,
Peeling off the scent of tedium and perspired fear.
The musket’s solid weight felt like a bed head,
The scar on the stock the secret she shared.
A drop of sweat peeked out it’s head beneath the
Band of my cap and ran a moist finger down my back.
We marched up in ranks, leaving the crease at the base of the hill.
My coarse trousers lightly chaffed like unshaven skin,
The shrapnel buried in my thigh pressing on my pocket
Like a re-found penny.
The tight leather of my boots parted the dew-brushed blades
Of grass with the sound of Molly’s skirts.
We marched up in ranks, as they appeared on the rise of the hill.
The cannonball took the right side of my face
Replacing sweat with spent cordite and heat.
I folded like a map, collapsing
Objectives, feints, advances and lines of retreat;
Each part of my body laying softly on the next like a sheet,
Until the good half of my face was gently pressed
Against the hill felt kissed.