The noise of battle summons all
Who hear the blare of trumpets call.
The soldier stands in ready ranks
In rows beside the mighty tanks.

The battleground in Ardennes green,
Now lain in winter’s snow-white sheen.
The stark bare foxhole is my bed,
With splintered fir boughs overhead.

Here I lie with body numbed
Protected from the German gun.
In sleepless night I lie and pray
Thinking of the dawn of day.

My prayers that come from half-closed mouth
Are seared with curse words that I shout.
From snowy lair I leave each day
To meet the foe where death may lay.

From BITTER WOODS to open field
I run the gamut without shield.
While shells of deadly eighty-eight
Before me burst to halt my gait.

The wind-blown snow blinds my eyes,
The low hung fog dims the skies.
With bandoleers across my back,
My body strains against my pack.
My trigger hand is numb and still,
But ready fixed and trained to kill.

I cross the field of a yesterday –
Where soldier’s frozen bodies lay –
Once in perfect battle lines they stood,
Now lay in grotesque forms like logs of wood.
Lord, that I may live this day,
Spare me from a soldier’s grave.
Many are the battle dead; o’er which some day
A soldier’s flag shall wave.

U.S. Army Star
John McAuliffe
M Company, 347th Infantry Regiment

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