And the birds will follow…

Photo by Richard Bartz

in the trenches

the stench of the dead is

overwhelming,

and the poor boy can’t move…

can’t move…

legs shot to shit

he fades

in and out

of consciousness…

the last time he came to

it was to see a crow

perched on the remains

of one of his ruined stumps.

it cawed happily

as it pecked at flesh

and muscles

and tendons

while the boy threw up and

knocked the goddamn bird

across the

foxhole.

then he blacked out again

and the bird came back.

they always do.

they surround the trenches

by the hundreds

and thousands,

and wait their turn

to feed on the dead

or the nearly dead,

whose screams drown out

the machines of war

and the constant sound of gunfire.

then the war moves on,

piling up more for the carrion crew,

and the birds follow…

they always do.

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3 responses to “And the birds will follow…

  1. God, this is awesome, Ramsey! Very powerful imagery and words.

  2. Maria;
    Thanks. I wrote this years ago after seeing some war movie where the carrion birds were swarming, following an army.

    ganymeder;
    Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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