Thoughts of a Young Soldier ©
To all the courageous young men who left their homes and families to face the horrendous conditions of war, and bravely fought and died for their country in the name of Freedom.
You ask me to die for my country,
To put my young life on the line.
You tell me that it is my duty,
To kill them with bullet or mine.
You say I must shoot without question,
And make sure the first shot is true.
You want me without hesitation
To march into battle for you,
You dare me to fight with great fervour,
To face all the dangers of war.
But you give me no body armour
Or protection against the scar.
You send me out to the battlement
Where battery guns assemble.
I pray there will be a settlement;
For shock has caused me to tremble.
You think I care naught of opponents
Who face me across the front line.
And who are these thoughtless proponents,
Who suggest that it fades with time?
You don't have the stomach for battles,
To soldier with men who are true.
You hide behind abstruse principles,
Yet I must defend them for you.
You frown if I voice my opinion,
And state that to war I'm averse.
You slate me with your opprobrium,
Alleging my views are perverse.
You convince me wars have good reason,
To trust that you know what is right.
You remind me it would be treason
If I baulk and refuse to fight.
Should soldiers be numb and unfeeling,
Immune to war's constant clamour?
While battle fatigue needs some healing
Killing and war have no glamour.
To your ends I've been used as a shield,
Too-long fighting at your behest.
Please carry me from this battlefield,
And lay me at peace - there to rest!