The Truths I Couldn’t Tell

I have no words to tell you
about the squalor and the smell.
No letter I could ever write
can describe this man-made hell.
I have no words to tell you
what it’s like to see no grass;
nor words to paint a picture
of our fearful dread of gas.

I have no words to tell you
how our nerve-ends all scream stop
when we stare out at no man’s land
but still, we carry on ‘over the top’.
And I have no words to tell you
how it feels to see a mate
get stuck in the mud and injured
and you must leave him to his fate.

But I have the words to tell you
whether British, Hun or French
when this cursed war is over
I’ll not set a foot in any trench.

John Monaghan

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