Topic: Hindsight by Peter Hodge

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Hindsight by Peter Hodge was an entry in the Battle of Gate Pā Poetry Competition (2014).


What a fool am I
Lieutenant- Colonel H G Booth
Leader of the 43rd regiment
A colonial invading New Zealand
Against the Maoris stubborn stand
What a fool am I
To believe our bravado air
Much talk of a win here
At the end of the Elms meal
Victory was at our heels
What a fool am I
To hear the cannon roar
See the exploding shells fall
Destroying that flimsy pa
Blowing it right apart
What a fool am I
To charge up that rise
Shout a soldier’s war cry
Thinking we have them beat
But ending in defeat
What a fool am I
To see my colleagues fall
As we hit that broken wall
A bullet brought me down
On that muddy ground
What a fool am I
To cry out in pain
Wailing my dying reframe
A Maori angel comforted me
Giving me water freely
What a fool am I
To arrive at heaven’s door
Pay penance for my colonising war
Looking back and with in
Realising what a fool I have been

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Hindsight by Peter Hodge