I remember when you were six years old,
Many toys you used to have and hold
But your favourites were, without a doubt,
The toy soldiers you loved to scatter about.
You marched them up and down the stairs,
Draped them all over my dining room chairs,
Lined them up with such precision,
Ignoring your brother's dry derision.
Round the edge of the bath you placed them all,
And then you would give me your usual call,
'Come upstairs mum, the battle's begun',
And I'd stand and watch as you flicked them all,
So that one by one they started to fall,
And gleefully you shouted mum, look I've won'.
In your teen years it became obvious to me,
That a soldier boy you were going to be,
My heart sank the day you left our place,
Full of optimism as you went on your way,
I said 'Go my son and take God's grace'.
For many years now you have learnt your trade,
A soldier born and a soldier made,
A leader of men out on parade,
To going on some nightime raid.
The war you were trained for,
Is now taking place,
Though many of you say,
It's a dam disgrace,
To be in such a hostile place,
With such a pitiless enemy to face.
Each day in the heat and constant dust,
Roadside bombs and mortar shells,
Explode all around,
This my son, is hell you've found,
For this war to end you all will pray,
The world has rued the very day,
That Bush and Blair,
Had their wicked way.
To Iraq and back again,
You've been several times,
Then onto Afghanistan,
To fight the Taliban,
Dodging the bullets,
This is your each and every day.
The noise, the sounds, the smells of war,
The flesh and blood and bone,
God, get this over and done with,
And let us all get back home.
I like to think back, now and then,
To when you were six years old,
And you played with your toy soldiers,
With great laughter, fun and joy,
You were my precious soldier boy,
You still are my soldier boy now.
copyrighted 2007 Pamela Mutch
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