Colin F. Jones

WHILE SILENTLY THEY PRAY

I see them storming up a hill duty bound to reach the top;
Hundreds of them die and kill lest the effort is deemed a flop.
When it is done and the hill is theirs the flag is planted firm,
Bodies piled upon a spot to bury or to burn.
They sit in shock and wonder why their comrades had to die,
For a little hill that it mattered not if they had passed it by.
It’s called a victory for the brave a victory for the corps;
It matters not if soldiers die, it just happens in a war.
What happens is some folk ‘fuck up’; some General wins a star!
A fine and noble battle fought they rejoice it in a bar!
All so young, so very young, impressionable and keen,
None will know why they were there but will remember having been.
For when as veterans old and lame with lots of things to say,
All they will do is brag with pride while silently they pray.

For all the same things that happened then will happen here still,
Except the protestors are the ones who once assailed the hill.
But now have choices now have rights they all claim to have won,
But it was their fathers long ago who were sacrificed to the gun,
Who thought the same as they do now for wars are all the same,
Imposing views on other folks then finding someone else to blame.
So round and round the wheel turns as wheels tend to do,
The same old clanking down the road with the same old rhetoric too.
All done before; forgotten now; there are new graves on the hill,
And in our homes and churches we pray for our soldiers still.
There is a time for this and a time for that but life keeps going on,
And what we have to show for it lives in the things we’ve done;
For though hope is a nice emotion and dreams fine for the head,
We cannot make smart decisions when we are lying dead.