Worst of it was the seasons. In the spring
trampled bare frozen earth would turn to mud
that smelled of dysentry and looked like blood.
Beyond the wire sometimes a bird would sing,
a lark perhaps and it would break your heart.
Worst things were happening, it could not care.
You’d turn to your best friend who wasn’t there
they’d smashed his skull in June. Perhaps you’d start
awake at night and not just from the cold –
Pyjamas but no blanket – if a shot
had woken you, some lucky bastard’s got
out of this place, their riddled grey corpse rolled
into a pit. Fall back, doze, maybe snore
perhaps endure six weeks, or ten years more.