Poem : History of the defeated soldier

I am not wounded in battle
I an a prize of war
I was the Salvation Army officer
holding the collection box
selling copies of “Battle Cry” to
worker ants
who marched
leather soled
in the underground railway station
I am not a major attraction
I am a victim of circumstance
Swept into service
by a random choice of birth date
I do not blame my parents for this
I blame them for my anger
fed by their anger to each other.
Too busy not listening to each other
to listen to me,
to teach me,
what have you.
I am not a lover of guns.
I just pull the trigger.
I throw up afterwards.
Because I can see their face,
and it’s a cliché,
I see myself.
I do not know what the battle was for.
Copyright Simon Lenthen 11.7.91


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