I changed your nappies once.
How can it be that you have grown for war?
This silly game I too wish to play.
Now 18 it is of no consequence.
You have already lived a life that knows war,
Perhaps a dozen times over.
What is one more?
So let your bullets sing a tune only the guilty can hear.
In hope that one day the innocent may dance among the silence.
When you come back you will be unchanged as a constant hero.
But I will thank every non-existent God none the less.
Wooden guns that fire live drills.
No colours of bottle tops stuck with ribbon.
My heart sinks at the thought of your helicopter rising.
Just my playmate disembarking.
A sad playground with Afghan soil.
Remember when you’d count to ten,
Find me, to be pinned down and beaten by a girl!
Those silly games we played.
These silly games we play.
We won’t win the war. No one has every truly won any war.
But you will win your battle.
So for now I shall take my turn to close my eyes and count.
(For Pte D.M)