Running

I saw a lame man running down a hill
of snipers and as he ran he stumbled and fell
but would grab at a tree to haul himself up again,
and keep running till he reached the armoured plain
where the rest waited and shot him just the same.
He stood, then stumbled and fell for the last time,
where the running strongest were the turreted ones
among helmets that could have done with them as friends.
The day was a sound of tanks and running guns,
and sputtering fire from the remnants that mark ends.
In the blaze of a shot-down heaven, the day was a hell
scorching an armoured plain and a snipers’ hill;
and the day was full of running; the day was full
of men running nowhere into the muzzles of guns.