You’re hiding down there in the dust and the dirt,
A parcel of Helmand, all primed to deliver,
In that split second you burst through the sand,
Searing and ripping your random selection,
Somebody’s future sucked up in your swirl,
So his family soon will be softly informed.

We listen out for those life-changing thuds,
As we lie in the heat all longing for home,
The talk is of heroes, our special cause,
A great gang of guys, just doing their jobs.
But did I really think when I went to enrol,
You’d lurk at my feet, my own deathly patrol?

Your score rises daily, dead man by dead man,
Don’t count me in, don’t add me to the Tali-
Ban The Bomb, stop the hate. Sometimes I pray,
But it’s you who’ll decide in that fierce flash of fate.
Forget flowery crosses, the slow Wootton walk,
RIP? Amputee? Please – don’t let that become me.

© Allison Hill, 2011