The road, tree lined, with grassy verge,
Dappled in sun kissed shadows,
A line of marching soldiers emerge,
Keeping to the road, avoiding mined hedgerows.
Then the shooting started, machine guns and mortar,
Tanks rumbled, with flaring gun turrets,
Adding to the two way slaughter,
Kill or be killed, time to show your merit.
Dead men on the sun dappled road,
Some dressed in Khaki, some in grey,
The fighting moves on, soldiers marched or rode,
Scarcely looking no time to kneel and pray.
Reinforcements rush up, a squadron of tanks,
Racing to catch up to continue the fight,
They keep to the road fearing mines on the banks,
Leaving behind crushed bodies bathed in sunlight.
The Padre drives up, kneels to pray,
Reaches out, bare hands search through cloth and flesh,
Seeking their identity in his reverend way,
So that a Mother, wife or lover, can be told he died today,
Now as I drive down busy roads and country lanes,
And see many of nature’s creatures cruelly slain,
I think of that Padre kneeling, with his tears flowing,
Dropping on crushed bodies, names unknown.