Nancy L. Meek


Innocent babes from their cradles,
they perked their ears to the drums of war
calling them to “Come… come,
and serve the country you adore!”

Heads-held-high, they joined the ranks,
prisoners for some sacred cause,
of the newest war-to-end-all-wars,
in defense of their moral laws.

With youthful spirits, bold and brave,
they bade their families farewell,
their reckless generation forgetting
the cost and terrors of hell.

Pledging allegiance to their flag,
willing to fight for right or wrong;
war’s obliging door clangs shut
on naive backs, young and strong.

Enduring grief from comrades dead
from the war’s barbaric oppression,
they lay aside their former selves,
“staying alive” their new obsession.

Their willing suffrage for freedom’s sake,
for home and mother’s apple pie,
for all things bright and beautiful,
moves a few to question, “Why?”

In the prison of war and its misery,
its wretchedness beyond compare,
stands the gaping mouth of reason,
all hope transformed into despair.

Searching for answers deep inside,
deluged by terrors of the warring kind,
the shackled rattle their prison bars,
starving for what they cannot find.