John Allan Wyeth

In a Dug-out

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Sleep ripped apart in the shrilling blast of a shell
jerking me back into life--Dawn, and a dead
bleak silence split by a shrieking smash--one then,
every minute! Men run along the corridor--

"Say look in here."

"It's the General's--"

"Naw it's too swell,
it's the Billeting Officer's--look at the real brass bed--"

"Not so loud!"

"They're asleep--"

A shadowy press of men
and tilted helmets at the open door.
My body swept throughout with a shattering spell
of fear--the fear that makes your heart like lead
your gullet sicken and the bowels creep
and slide like live things in your abdomen.

"Olly wake up!"

"Hey!--what did you wake me for?"
Aw Hell, why this is nothing--go to sleep."

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John Allan Wyeth