Mike Subritzky

THE LETTER

Dear Mr Subritzky, sorry to be a bore,
but we’re sending your son Danny to the Bosnian War.
Yes, we know you did Rhodesia; your cousin Bill did Vietnam,
but we’re running out of soldiers and we need a few good men.

/Sure, your uncle Jack the Anzac, was in the Battle of Chunuk Bair,
and Bob Subritzky caught a packet on the Somme.
But we need a few good men, to send to Europe once again,
and we’ll kit them out and send them with a song.

Cousin Fredo got a head wound in the Monte Casino fight,
and poor old Archi, he went crazy on the wire one stormy night.
Yes, your family’s done its bit, but it doesn’t count for shit,
and when your son gets back, we’ll give the lad a gong.

Now you know the bloody score, it’s just another friggin’ war,
and we’re off in a couple of days, to the blood and smoke and haze.
Of course your boy should be alright, unless the Serbs decide to fight,
because the Moslems in his sector seem OK.

This poem was written by Mike Subritzky, himself a veteran, during a train journey to farewell his son when he was posted on Operations to Bosnia in 1998, and served with B Battery, Royal Horse Artillery.