F. William Broome
AIN’T GONNA STUDY WAR NO MORE
Boredom is constant for six hundred veterans filling
Troop train in mid-December 1945 as
Great Northern Railway’s jumbo locomotive labors
Eastward through Rocky Mountains
Frosted windows screening grand scenery
Hiding under winter-long snow and ice blanket.
Thoughts of Holidays at home crush nostalgia to
Breaking point before a welcomed stop in
Moscow Idaho at Canada’s border where
Townspeople and band music soothe
Homesick lads with carols candy fruit and
Good-fellowship rejected by some to
Explore shops uphill a block away.
Strong 7.0% Canadian beer should do it for
Long-term veterans sick of the 3.2% sold to troops
A quick purchase encased in arms for the dash to
Station after hearing train’s whistle as
Feet slip butt hits hard snow folding to a feet-up slide
Down icy street beer in lap into a fast parting crowd.
Howls of glee and derision strip away dignity while
Cold beer and a humiliated veteran slink into
Anonymity returning to combat-harden buddies
Who admire courage boldness and self-sacrifice for
A once-in-a-lifetime celebration with
Long-suffering friends hell-bent on breaking all the rules.
©Copyright 2003 by F. William Broome