Unknown Soldier’s Commentary

I flew backwards
The shrapnel tearing into me
Pin pricks
And I feel the dreaded knife stabs in my knee and foot.
My ears are ringing,
They say it’s cos some fluid in them gets shaken up.
Fucking wrong time to think of biology 101.
Anyway I think
“I have to move”
The barbed wire is just ahead.
Feel for fingers and toes.
Left fingers – check
Right fingers – check
Left toes – check.
Right toes –
I’m a leg short.
Then I think
“Military crawl”
Well then suck it up and crawl.
Left hand forward
The ground burns and trembles. 
Like holding a live coal.
Right hand forward.
I can do this.
Left knee forward  
Right knee – fuck!
The pain of a thousand nut crackers overwhelms me.
A tear trickles down my dirt encrusted face.  
I grit my teeth.
Upper body strength it is.
Push and pull.
Nice and easy.
“Yeah” I say to myself 
Like dragging a broken body is easy.
Everyday of the week stuff.
Push and pull.
Across puddles of drying blood
And what’s left of soldiers.
Friend and enemy alike.
I feel like retching.
Some dude wasn’t so lucky.
Bloody guts spread all over the place.
Well I’m almost there.
Barbed wired safety. 
Then a few yards ahead of me
I see Joe a friend of mine
Well he ain’t no friend
Bully from school.
But he damn near looked friendly to me now
At least until he steps on a mine
And starts raining all over me.
Now I have Joe all over me.
A few yards more.
Push, pull
Man this is some hard shit. 
My helmet scrapes the wire.
I heave a sigh of relief.
Each step brings me home now.
If you can call a trench home.
I push harder.
I can taste Joe’s gray matter in my mouth.
Nasty stuff really.
My stomach finally heaves.
Even in death Joe manages to make me retch.
Real beautiful.
Just as I pull clear of the barbed wire
Ready to fall into the darkness below
I hear a shout.
Then a pimply youth jabs a bayonet at my right leg.
Or he thinks I got a right leg.
Can’t help myself from guffawing.
Then I heave myself
Then I start falling.
That’s till my bootstraps fall in love with the barbed wire.
Now I’m hanging like a bat.
I almost grin
Then I remember pimple face.
Now I start crying.
Each tear drop a waterfall.
“I want to live.”
It’s all I want to do.
I’m bleeding like a stuck pig.
Blistered fingers

All my strength spent.
When he finally finds me.
A morbid grin lights up his face.
Then he sticks his bayonet in my lungs.
The sucking rattle of the knife sliding over my ribs.

It doesn’t hurt funny enough.
“Sounds like a car tyre losing air.”
I try to chuckle.
Damn barbed wire did me good.
Vision slows to a crawl.
Last thoughts?
© Sena Kodjokuma 2014

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