Bulk Burial

Brave boys on the front have in the West fallen
Dying in dozens without even the chance to be crestfallen,
Young heroes in a hell they knew not existed;
A patriotic pall is all that is left,
Vitriol and victory are left bereft.

Not even the victors are grinners;
Only Death’s shadow grins, leers and sneers,
The winners, as such, do not grin
Do not, cannot smile,
Save a nervous one, once in a while.

The crowds back home laugh with joy
Jump, dance and throw hats skyward;
But smiling, true happiness, is not in their employ;
Frightened relief is their mustered reward
Shepherded forward by fear, Death’s dread steward.

Survivors return back, but not to home;
Irrevocably wrecked,
All but a few quickly find their way to a death;
Their home is with their mates in the ground and sky
Laying cold, chilled, frozen bones,
Dead like permafrost, bulk buried where they died.