Written in response to modern warfare


1. Duty

He sits in the pre dawn haze.

Faded yellow clothing.

Waiting for the call

From above.


‘We’re leaving men.


You are anyway.”

Should have known.


Heaves himself up.

Boots creak.

Another trip down

That road. Twenty men lost in the previous month.

When will they realise…


It’s a lost cause. A waste of life.


He’s older than half his superiors.

The young ones who take the easy way up.

Skipping their way past half the rungs.


‘That ladder’s important my son’ he’d tell them

‘That ladder taught me all I know.’

‘That ladder’s saved my life my friend’

But they just huddle together, giving the order to go.


A tour of duty?

Is this really duty?

Others doing your duty?


He walks out into the now blazing heat,

With his solemn comrades in arms.

All of them wondering, and not without reason,

Will this day of following

Infantile madness prove to be their last?

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