At night

It's sometimes quiet

With little noises louder than you'd expect.

Little hustling bustling, rustling noises

Now and again

Made by little frightened hungry creatures

But is it them ?

Or is it men ?

There aren't any dry leaves,  here in the mud,

To rustle.

There aren't any little frightened creatures left,

To hustle, or bustle, or rustle

All that's left are the rats, big and fat, and fierce,

And not at all frightened.

Like us.

So listen harder, listen for,

A sound that's more than the sergeant's snore.

The stealthy slithering knive's unsheathing,

I can hear- I can hear - I can hear my breathing,

Would I have time to shout a warning

Can I hold, my nerve till morning?

Will I stay awake, stifle a yawn ?

Or fall asleep,

And be shot at dawn.

© nigel hallworth 2014