The Bus-stop on the Somme

Benjamin Hopper 1896-1965

David Rowbotham

Even if you are killed, you die.
My uncle, who survived the Somme,
Died waiting at a bus-stop, as though,
In the repeated boom
Of mud-wheeled guns, he had at last
Been accurately shelled,
Shattered by a deep unburied blast.
He died as though he had been killed.

Others at the bus-stop heard the boom.
lt cannoned the act of living through
The trenches where we bury the Somme:
And the others waiting knew
The dead go on, don’t stop at death
But go as my uncle did
That day on the accurate mud-wheeled earth,
When the shrapnel missed the another’s head.