He’ll Never Be


This poem was commended by judge John Hegley in the 2017 Caterpillar Poetry Competitionmoth_2

He didn’t want to be a soldier

But he didn’t have a choice

When your country calls you

You have to listen to its voice

He didn’t want to leave his town

For a life inside a trench

A funny thing to die in France

When you don’t speak any French

He might have been a butcher

Or a builder or a clerk

In slicks of blood on foreign soil

Is how he made his mark

He didn’t think he’d die in pain

Miles away from all he’s from

Calling for his mother

At the murderous, muddy Somme

He’d like to have been married

The 31 to Chalk Farm

But he didn’t get the chance

Nor would he be a father

Once he’d crossed the sea to France

So many things he’d never be

The sorriest of stories it’s important still to tell

You must remember to remember him

And all the rest who fell

Read about the competition in this Irish Times article

My poem was inspired by the #wearehere project in 2016



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