The tiny ring glitters in dusky half-light,
Desperately delicate in the dirty hands of the soldier
He blinks, wiping mud out his eyes,
Relaxing in the brief respite from the rain and guns and terror.
The coin ring, wrought by his own hands, shines,
Summoning memories as colourful as the sunset.
A girl, teeth white against rosy cheeks, laughing.
A golden spaniel springing through daisies
Warm cups of tea, safe against the winter’s cold.
Then, he is back.
Back in the trenches, back in uniform,
Mud and bullets and blood smearing
Into a blackish collage on the ground.
A gun on his back, shells whining overhead.
The war must go on.
For those he left behind,
For the girl who is his past and future,
For his safety, his home.
For them, the war must go on.
For them, he will fight.
So he lifts his rifle, and trudges back out
Into the rain.