Colin F. Jones

AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER

~ 1 ~

A leaf through margins of light drifts slowly down,
Changing colour with the canopy’s leafy crown,
Settling on the muddy leather of his boot
Ignominiously twisted upon an exposed root.
A haze of flies with gauzy wings cascade,
About the bloody hole the bullet made
As a small green frog hops down one covered arm
Watched by a Python beneath the down turned palm.
The shadows stretch towards the rifles gleam,
Protruding in light from the trickling stream,
Where empty shells with copper sheen lay spread,
Black in the hollows empty now of lead…
Along the muddy bank and among the trees
That slightly groan from the fondling breeze.

~ 2 ~

His body lies half buried in the mud,
His filthy clothing soaked in wasted blood,
His head is shattered empty of all thought,
His legs are shredded in barbed wire caught.
Around him trees all bow with damp respect,
While bits of flesh the insects soon collect.
And as the jungle light becomes a mist,
The dark blanket of the night cannot resist
There is no dignity in a dead soldiers eyes,
Just the sightless nothing where he wasted lies,
His body broken, lost of all its use,
Like a jungle vine empty of its juice….
For what he stood for he stands not for now,
As he rots into the ground like a fallen bough.

~ 3 ~

They know he went away; and they know he’s lost,
They knew his role, and understood the cost,
But the agony that grips their now hopeful hearts,
Was not expected and never from them departs.
Is he alive? A victim? A prisoner of war?
Or was he killed? Was he killed and no one saw?
Oh darling son; my husband; father… God!!
Do you lie dead in the debris of jungle sod,
Oh find him! Find him! find him please oh please,
Where ere he lies, or where his spirit flees,
That we can grieve knowing he has died,
That we can serve his memory with great pride,
And read his name in marble on the wall,
Where all their names are read; those who fall.