Standing in a Flanders trench, the young soldier
Peered into the gloom,as he waited for stand down,
Which would signal the dawn, and rest from duty,
His mind turned to thoughts of home.
Sounds of shells, gunfire, war.
Blotted out by warm caressing visions
Of a cosy kitchen bathed in lamp light.
His mother busy preparing tea.
The old brown teapot warming on the hob.
His thoughts turned to dreams,
And he fell asleep at his post.
To be awakened by shaking and shouting.
The Sergeant, and Officer demanding explanations.
Inevitably the Court Martial followed.
The verdict as expected “Guilty”.
Punishment death by firing squad,
They pinned a white rag on his chest,
Tied him to a chair, then read out the charge.
He did not hear it, his mind was fixed on the old brown teapot.
In the little cottage, the fire had gone out,
His mother paused, shivered as she rekindled it.
In the bright flame she saw her son’s face,
She picked up the teapot, the face disappeared.
Suddenly she knew, the teapot fell from her grasp,
She sank to the floor to pick up the pieces.
For sixteen years she had treasured them both.
Now they were gone, lost to her forever,