Faye Sizemore

CHILD SOLDIERS’ DIRGE

Some countries send a child to war
to do a soldiers’ killing chore
Child soldiers die every day…
those being put in harm’s way

Such was America in the days of yore
Boys helped open the revolutionary door
and also fought bravely in the Civil War
Such was Johnny… a child of ten
Astride a wheeled steed of iron
… he rode his way into history
Little Johnny Clem
never knew how to run
Ask those who know…
those who fought at Shiloh
‘Give up… you little Union bastard’
said a Confederate who drew a bead
upon Johnny’s little head
as soon as his words were said
Little Johnny shot him dead…
no drummer boy today
… a soldier instead

Beat upon a velvet drum
bang a dirge slowly
beat upon it for all
the child soldiers gone
and for those yet to come…