Various Reponses by Marty Morgan

Love and Honour (Acrostic)

Love and honour
Over my dead body
Violets and poppies grow
Everybody’s gone.

And where are they now?
Now and forever
Dead and buried.

Honour God and the King
Or face the firing squad
No room for manoeuvre
Over the top you go
Under the ground you go
Rather a duty than a choice.


Click, click, click.

The cut and thrust of the game is all to play for next door.  Yet here I am unable to sit up, staring at the four walls and the plastered stucco ceiling.  I wish I could get up and go next door and play.  I hear the men joyful in their sport, the smell of tobacco clings to the air.  The clatter of balls falling into pockets is too much to bear.  “Nurse.   Can I go and watch please?”  “No sir, you must stay in your bed.  This is the laying down ward.   Everyone must rest in their beds in here.”

Terms used are much bandied about next door.  ‘Mechanical Bridges’ has a totally different meaning for me.  That’s what I was attempting to erect with the others in my battalion when we were sprayed by enemy machine gun fire.  I remember little of what happened next except for waking up in a field hospital with the attending doctor muttering something like ‘lucky to be alive’.   Apparently I had been operated on and had survived the ordeal.   I was later told I was to be taken back to hospital in England by hospital ship in order to convalesce.  Maybe they will send me back to the front after this.


The road up to the big house
Is pock marked and pitted,
Like the soldiers I collect
The laundry from.
Blood stained and peed on,
Not so sweet smelling
But to take it back
Fresh and clean
Is an awesome task.

Sunlight on the fresh smelling linen,
Folded and flat,
White and billowy
After splashing and dashing
Suds and soap, carbolic smells
And ‘dolly blue’ to bring out
The brightness.

Bringing it back was a treat.
Never before had I seen
A house like this,
In all its splendour.

I thought I would never
Walk inside its walls.
But here I was
Now, on the staircase
Examining all the portraits
Of Lords and Queens.
The stairs themselves
Are an eyeful.

Plastered stucco ceilings
In every room.
Decorated bedcovers
And ornamented furniture.
What a spectacle,
And here am I
In the midst of
It all.

Missing A Limb

What am I going to do now? I still feel as if it is there. My left leg from just below the knee is missing. I was caught off-guard in the trenches last week. It was very painful until the morphine kicked in. Now, a week later, I am a bit more composed but I can’t stop thinking about what the future will hold for me.

Will I get my old job back? Will I be able to do it? What will Maureen think? Will she still want to marry me? What about buying shoes? Will they let me buy just one? Everything is so up in the air.

Will I get a pension? The platoon captain is coming to visit next week. What will I say to him? What will he have to say to me? Will I be discharged from the army? I don’t know. I have so many questions.

I don’t even know if I will get a wooden leg when my wound heals over. I haven’t tried standing with the aid of crutches yet.