(This is a very old poem I dug up from an old computer file. It's really choppy, and you will probably have to read it a few times before you can understand it. Keep in mind I use a weird, playwright-sort-of-style when the men are talking.)
"A War to Win"
There they sit one by one
Each bearing his own gun,
In the soggy trenches
With bodies for their benches.
None have escaped the crimson stain
Which from above rains
Upon their ashen faces:
Every man’s heart races.
Hands tremble when cries ring
From above; feet scampering,
To escape from earthly hell
And the whistling bomb shells.
They shoot, aim, fire,
Their fingers never tire
Of their ghastly mission.
Every man tries not to listen
To the screams above, oh, but emotions must be shoved.
“My shoulder, my shoulder!”
Tim yells, looking ten years older.
Scott frowns, “Sit down, cease that fire!”
Tim: “No, I’ll never stop till I tire.”
Tim continued on faithfully
Until his next wound took him fatally.
Scott: “Where on earth is love in this hellish place?”
Jim: “In war love has no space.”
Nate: “No, you are wrong, do not we fight for,
Our family’s freedom in this war?”
Scott: “Yes, our countries freedoms, our countries rights
Is why every man stands up and every man fights.”
Cries for help echo on the field
From men begging for God’s shield.
And lover’s names slipping from their lips
As death, their heart grips.
Goodbye brave man, goodbye brave heart, go, a new life to start.
Nate: “Farewell, mates, I’m leaving this place
And am going to start this fateful death race.”
He jumped up and scooted out of the ditch,
His face as dark as asphalt and pitch.
But Scott grabbed his arm and pulled him in
The trench to keep him from suicide—sin—
Scott: “No, Nate, you’ll make my heart sore
If you die during this war.”
Nate: “We’re all going to die, my dear friend.”
Then he jumped out and ran to his gory end.
And after him at least thirty more,
Ran to death and entered heaven’s door.
Jim: “He never met his child—and, oh, his wife!—”
Scott: “Such a good man!—Such a sad life!”
Jim: “He was a good man, pure in the soul,
But we must look ahead: freedom’s our goal.”
Scott tucked his Bible beneath his chin,
Repenting for his each and every sin.
As men fell beside him, at the left and the right,
Their eyes screaming their fear and their fright.
Knowing they were to die before night, there was no hope with morning light.
“A cannon! A cannon!” A man yelled.
In the heart was Scott shelled.
Jim: “Do not die, my dear man!”
He pressed on the wound with his hand.
Scott: “The pain is not so great as the relief.
Dear friend Jim, I am saved by my belief.”
His uniform was soon stained with red,
And there was made his poor death bed.
Just one more mother to loose a son,
Just one more life lost to have a war won.
Just one more life taken from a man,
Just one more life lost in a sea of sand.
Jim: “You were a strong soul and a good mate,
But I promised you that I’d never hate.”
Then he picked up his gun and continued to fight
Though he knew that he’d die before night.
Yet his heart was strong for his countries name: as his friends, his death was the same.
Before the day was done thousands were killed,
Before the light returned, their places were filled.
To be given, life must be taken.
To have freedom, the world must be shaken.
On that day heaven had many men to take in:
All of this for a war to win.