Poem Hunter
A Fictitious Day
(03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

A Fictitious Day

Poem By Ananya Chatterjee

At dawn the veldt emerges filled with thorny bushes
covered with fog creeping in from the river
being burnt away by the white-hot sun
smouldering through the red-brown dust
and smoke pouring from moving
armoured cars and battle tanks

and the barrage begins with shells whistling past,
from howitzer guns
while it is always forward towards the enemy
driving in at speed before coming to a dead halt
with the Ratel-90 armoured car,
before firing, driving away
and returning to fire again at the same enemy battle tank

with the ninety millimetre cannon
slicing through enemy armoured cars
and the enemy troops on foot being mowed down
by its two machine guns
turning into cadavers of blood and guts

and the armoured car driving next to ours
is knocked out with a direct hit,
is covered in plumes of smoke
tongues of exploding fire.
"Lord, I cannot watch them being killed"
and we fire another projectile
at the guilty enemy tank at point blank range

and the battle doesn't stop,
it just rages on and on
till every enemy facing us is either dead or gone.

© Gert Strydom

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