Suddenly he awoke and was running – raw
The soldier is in a vulnerable and confused state.
In raw-seamed hot khaki, his sweat heavy,
He's in uniform, can be pictured as a soldier.
Stumbling across a field of clods towards a green hedge
That dazzled with rifle fire, hearing
Confused at being faced with gun fire, shows inexperience.
Bullets smacking the belly out of the air –
Violent image describes the sound and impact of the bullets.
He lugged a rifle numb as a smashed arm;
His rifle seems useless, like a broken limb.
The patriotic tear that had brimmed in his eye
'Patriotic tear' suggests a contrast between ideals and reality.
Sweating like molten iron from the centre of his chest, –
Seems like he's saying that patriotism is irrational because it's never how you expect it to be.
In bewilderment then he almost stopped –
The soldier wonders why he's there, contemplating patriotism and its uses.
In what cold…