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I can see everything from this hilltop. Everything. The chimneys of the iron-furnace, the roof of the iron foundry. I can hear things too, the hammer of the bellows Pumping air to fan the furnace flames, Or the cries of men When hot metal is spat on their skin from the fires. Do you know what they call this hill? Deadman’s hill. They call it that because a dead man was found here once. He was found right on this very spot. I found him. He didn’t have a nose Just a sort of hole Where his nose would have been if he’d had one. He’d been shot In his face And his arms were bent back in a funny way Like he was dancing And there was rusty blood, a lot, All over his face and his neck and his chest. He was dead. Like the last dead man in a battle. I didn’t scream. I hid in a bush instead and watched him for ages. Then I went and picked up a twig That was lying around And stuck it into the bloody hole Where his nose must have been, once. I twiddled it round and around A couple of time To make sure he was really dead. He was, because he never turned a hair. Later I wished I’d never done it. It’s not religious to do that to the dead. But then he’d been gone a long time. He’d come back you see, to the place Where they made the bullet That was put in the gun That shot him.
Stupid ghost.Mr Soldier no-nose. the roof of the foundry. The chimneys of the iron-furnace. Laugh Silly old soldier. . Everything. I can see everything from this hilltop.