A moment on the road
On a road from Loimola towards Suvilahti, early March 1940...
Something blew up ahead on the dark blue road. Rucksacks no longer felt heavy as their carriers threw themselves into the ditch, crawled behind rocks and trees. Snow fell from the nearby spruces like a white powder. Some were still covering their heads and rifles with their hands, as some lifted their faces from the ground. Men stared at each other's faces with uncertainty.
What should we do? Was the enemy somewhere near? Was someone hit? Did someone else piss his pants?
As the ringing echo of the explosion disappeared into the night, distant gunfire was heard ever clearer now. Dry nagging of machineguns and some rifle shots. The sounds made one or two of the men to feel sick. Either that, or they had managed to puncture their ears.
It was their first day and they hadn't even reached their Company yet. They were fresh. Still in their boyhood. The 2nd Company had been mauled pretty badly. More men were needed.
"It's just th
having held on forever to the hope of knowingYou read arrows, archer, from some secret sage;
before the battle, my teacher took your thumb from the bow,
(sound spying, how your arrow went whistling)
recalling the rush in your five-full fist.
So I, archer became, yet you brave,
never bitter for the bow, fought the forfeit feud.
You have history’s heart: and I won a war.