War and History Poetry posted October 6, 2013

This work has reached the exceptional level
A short war story

The Quadriplegic

by tfawcus

He enlisted at sixteen,
trained for a few months
and was sent to the trenches.
His war lasted less than a day.

When the order came to attack
he was hit by friendly fire
from behind.

I saw him, fifty years later
In a sunny corner of the ward,
studying the racing pages
from the comfort of his wheelchair.

Against all the odds,
he had eventually become good
at picking a winner.


When working as a hospital porter some fifty years ago my duties included turning the patients to prevent bed sores. He was a heavy man with a surprisingly light spirit. He has continued to haunt my memory all these years. This was my first understanding of the reality of war.
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