Tuesday, 23 December 2014

CHRISTMAS TRUCE 1914 - IMAGINE.. by Leslie Wilson


Imagine if they had all laid down their arms,
not just for hours, or days on some parts of the Front,
though that was astonishing -

The snowy silent night, after months of explosions;
German trenches glowing with Christmas trees,
carols crossing No Man's Land uninjured.

Then the shouts: We not shoot, you not shoot! and:
Happy Christmas, English!
Chilled, fumbling hands passed chocolate cake to Engländer,
and they gave their Christmas puddings to the Hun,
exchanging food instead of bullets and shells.


 Imagine, though, dare you? And do not say:
It never happens like that -

Which is as bad as saying: We will not
permit it to happen, even inside our heads.

If when the last candle had burned down,
the last pudding was digested -


If they had looked in horror at their guns,
the wire, and the trenches - shaken
their heads, and shouted:

We have chosen to be
a different kind of hero.

If, on every front,
they had buried the weapons in the trenches;
metal skeletons left to rust and decay,
so that peace broke out infectiously,
so afterwards they stayed alive to say;
We were there, we were part of it.

We came home.

Dare we imagine that;

believe it might ever be true?

Leslie Wilson December 2014

The story of the Christmas truce will be in Carol Drinkwater's blog on Boxing Day
There were outbreaks of peace along the Eastern Front too.

Photo of the candle (Eine Kerze) by Bangin, Wikimedia Commons


Christina Koning said...

Thank you for this, Lesley - a very moving piece.

carol drinkwater said...

Leslie, I had no idea we had doubled up. Great minds…! Happy Christmas, Carol

Leslie Wilson said...

Well I could see that we were complementing each other....