The soldier knew his time had come and he would die this very morn,
He had been given an allotted time to go of one minute past the dawn.
An inner calm descended upon this man in the final moments of his life,
As he recounted the unfulfilled dreams he had promised to his dear wife.
The last letter he would ever write was moist with the tears that he cried,
The words he wrote would always be there long after this day that he died.
He made her pledge to tell their sons of his love and to kiss them each day,
He vowed to watch over them from the place he would eventually lay.
All around him in these forsaken trenches men and boys alike were crying,
They knew as well as he that their moment had come to start their dying.
The ladders were set and at the sign of the flare they would go up over the edge,
Prayers were muttered to keep them safe and to religion unbelievers did pledge.
The light of fear filled the sky as over they went with men dropping all around,
The battle did rage as they marched on and on to the guns deathly rattle sound.
Through the mud he walked till the bullet did hit and he knew his time had come,
Then he heard a voice plead “Daddy don’t die” and knew it was that of his son.
He staggered through the field of blood red poppies as those around fell,
Knowing that soon a small piece of lead would bring release from this living hell.
The frightened screams were all around as deaths bullet brought him to his knees,
When yet again he heard his sons appeal “Don’t go daddy, come to me please”
With an inner strength he rose again to see mustard gas explode where he stood,
Finally he fell prostrate once more and his crippled body lie still in the mud.
The pungent smell dug down deep in his lungs and brought a tear to his eye,
And for one last time he heard his wife’s sweet voice “Darling it’s time to die”
Although I can never thank those who have fallen I wrote this poem, “Darling it’s time to die”, to show that I will never forget what they have given for you and me…