Augustin Trebuchon

By Gary Smith
Pixabay war graveyard image

(Last French soldier killed during World War One, 15 minutes before the Armistice came into effect.)


Yes, Augustin

you were the last to fall – shred & fed

into the machine, the last

eye-bulge throat-gurgle, the last

crimson lung-blood

dribbled from nose to lips

the last limb-jerk death-throe

until the world cried: enough!


And as the greed-grinder jammed

and the lovers, wives and mothers

all wept, did your limp soul hover

over the western front & comingle

above the shell-pocked mud

did you rise with enemy and foe alike

to see yourselves slow-rot on the mud-fields

to compost one red-poppy sunset at a time –


Yes, Augustin

yours was the last death rattle they

spent half Europe’s youth to hear.