on point

somewhere at the edge of the swamps

I’d be sixteen out on my first navy camp

loving the canoeing up river

one pan cooking exploring the woods

until came the night exercises

I was good for hiding with guns

flash bangs set off by hidden wires

ambushes guerrilla warfare

but when they left me at the crossroads

with a tilley lamp & a message to give

in the pitch black except for my soft circle

listening for feet on the path

& they’d been given instructions

of which I was unaware

sneak up on him give the jitters

which every single one of them did

coming out of the undergrowth

walking on grass beside the path

when they came to relieve me

just before the dawn

I’d almost worn myself out

character forming they called it

the bastards

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