Wilhelm Klemm: Evening at the Front

A poem a day
International WWI Poetry Month

Evening at the Front

Wilhelm Klemm (Germany, 1916)

Every evening an officer
Comes into the damp tent and tells us who has fallen.
Every hungry evening when we long lie shivering
There are dead men among us who will die tomorrow.

One had his head blown off,
There a hand is dangling,
Here someone without a foot is wailing,
A captain got it straight in the chest,
And the rain, the rain does on dripping incessantly.

Throughout the night the cannons go on echoing away.
In the distance, villages burn with little red tongues.
O God, how is this destined to end?
Oh questing bullet, when will you come for me?