"We really should spend the night!"

Eighteen years old - he was a man
Cammo greens, rifle in hand
Yesterdays child gone overnight
Handed a gun and taught to fight!

The convoy roars along the well worn track
"Hurry John Love - we'll soon be back!"
They often used to call him John,
After Rhodesia's favourite racing son.

He said, "We really should spend the night!"
Then, rather than have an all in fight

He sighed…..
Rifle and webbing at his side,
Climbed into the driver's seat
Felt the pulse, the engine beat!

Starting the engine with pride and love,
A silent prayer to his Mum above.
Foot flat to the floor and through the gears
Concentration - hidden fears!

"We really should spend the night!"
Hot shower - Cold Beer are just in sight!
As the evening sun kissed the trees -
"Hurry, John Love - Hurry - Please!"

The dusty tracks along the ground
Hands wet on the wheel, heart starting to pound!
In and instant from all around
A Shattering Blast, a sickening sound….

Windscreen exploding in his sunburnt face
The world stood still in time and space.
He reached for his rifle to leave the truck -
found his webbing all tangled and stuck!

One last tug - he was out the door -
A Brilliant Flash - A Deafening Roar!
Mortar bomb, to claim the dead!
Silence filled his bloodied head….

As he lay
In the roadside ditch not far away.
"He's Dead for sure!"
The Silence Roared…..

"I'm fine ……I'm not….."
"I've been shot!"
"We really should spend the night…."
"I'm 18 years old - too old to fight!"

The chopper came as the sun sank below
the trees. Everyone whispered, their voices low
This war had taken its' toll today
He knew they should decide to stay…..

"We really should spend the night……."

Pam Crowther

This page last modified on Thursday, 14 June, 2001