1 July 1916

I keep a list of interesting lines for when I want to write a poem, but haven’t had a particular bit of inspiration strike me. This poem came out of a note I wrote to myself which said, “Last words pinned to the inside of a jacket before leaving trench.” The title comes from the date of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, in WWI, which was one of the largest conflicts in that war, and the archetypal trench conflict in history. Hope you enjoy!


Marie, if bullets come
from my side, remember
to keep my casket
shut with stone.
I will not stay in
a trench,
but crawl to the other side.
My comrades are bound, beyond
the line that I must cross.
Let our children hear
that their father died
for them.