Here is the descriptive paragraph that inspired me to write “Remorse”, a World War I poem (see the following post). Hope you enjoy 🙂 – Purple Pansy
It’s crisp, the air… I know it’s just after dawn, almost my time to shine. Others were proud to go over the top, but not me. I’m ashamed of who I am, it’s not me. I wasn’t meant to be a killer. I’m soft on the inside, filled with yellow rays of happiness. Suddenly, I can hear the general coming, I hear his barks, and I am stricken with fear. The ground rumbles under his weight and it makes me feel small and a bit compressed. I wasn’t meant to do this, I could just live a normal life, maybe make some friends, oh I don’t know… I’m shaken, up and down, up and down, rattled from end to end. I prepare myself, to go over the top, onto the battlefield. Eins, dvei, drei… It’s time; I am propelled over the barbed wire, soaring like a bird. I quickly plummet to the ground, my metal armor hitting the firmly packed dirt. Plunk, plunk, plunk, it explodes and I seep out. Then just like I was prepared to do, I slither across the ground, exactly like a snake. The wind isn’t my enemy this time, we’re allies today. With the wind driving me, I come closer to the enemy ground. I wish I could stop and turn around. I want to escape, shed my skin and hide. As I approached the trenches, I notice there’s no lookout, not a single guard is present. What a perfect sneak attack… Here’s my cue, the moment everyone at base has been waiting for. I swivel through the trench’s zigzags, unnoticed for now. I start creeping near sleeping soldiers, targeting the poor fellows and after a few minutes killing them. I’ve covered the frontline, so many men have perished. “I’m sorry”, I utter. I come face to face with a soldier. Poor boy; he turned as pale as a sheet and froze like a statue. Is this what he imagined a German looked like? I wish I could help him but I know I can’t turn back now. He starts hyperventilating, breathing deeper and deeper. Oh no, I’ve scared him, I start weeping. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry”, I wail. I’ve never felt this much remorse before, but then again I’ve never been this alive. Mouth to mouth, nose to nose, he gulps his last breath of air. Auf Wiedersehen young soldier. As I look behind me, I see the deaths that I’ve caused. More bodies plunge to the dirt and I feel pathetic; man has made me a killer. “Forgive me, please.”, I whisper. I begin travelling to the support trench until I’m spotted. I don’t know what to do, it’s like my thoughts were stolen from me. All I can do is linger there. Whistles go crazy, everyone takes cover – they hide from me, the monster. I don’t know what to do anymore, so I loiter around. I manage to escape this deadly scene; it’s like a graveyard on exhibit. I can’t help but cry that I’m sorry. I start to dissipate, all that lingers in my head are the cries of those poor soldiers: Gas, gas, gas!
By: Purple Pansy