F.4 Poem - Boys
In the Pink

So Davies wrote: “This leaves me in the pink.” 
Then scrawled his name: “Your loving sweetheart, Willie.” 
With crosses for a hug. He'd had a drink 
Of rum and tea; and, though the barn was chilly, 
For once his blood ran warm; he had pay to spend. 
Winter was passing; soon the year would mend. 

But he couldn't sleep that night; stiff in the dark 
He groaned and thought of Sundays at the farm, 
And how he'd go as cheerful as a lark 
In his best suit, to wander arm in arm 
With brown-eyed Gwen, and whisper in her ear 
The simple, silly things she liked to hear. 

And then he thought: tomorrow night we trudge 
Up to the trenches, and my boots are rotten. 
Five miles of stodgy clay and freezing sludge, 
And everything but wretchedness forgotten. 
To-night he's in the pink; but soon he'll die. 
And still the war goes on°–he don't know why.