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Duty

I’ve often wondered whether I would go

over the top into that no man’s land

amidst bullets and razor wire to show

my love of country and my happy band.

I’ve watched TV programmes in quiet awe.

Black and white voices of a bygone time

telling of Tommy’s sacrifice in war.

Shallow buried and covered in quick lime.

Could I summon courage to say no more

Defy recruiting posters’ call to fight

and ignore the swift shutting neighbours’ door,

battle brain gnawing doubts through lonely night?

More likely I’d march in quick step to death

Join helpless crowds you’ll salute as brave

But as I part with my bloodied last breath,

your duty sends me early to my grave.

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