The Quiet Soldier

The Quiet Soldier

 

Why am I fighting these foes of mine?

(I know it's a soldier's fate)

to shoot my gun and die – yes, me as well as him,

when I see the blood on his cape

and his dead eyes shine;

by then it's too late for me and him alike -

but to the battle I return

with rifle and defiance primed

and hoards of bravado to turn and strike

when the muzzle-blasts outgun the bravest mind.

 

But I will not fight for your big idea,

your gods unsung,

your children's happy cries,

though some think less of me for that

and I might not hear you at the tumbrel's rung;

mine is a soldier's life,

of barrack, trench and dung.

 

A godless man asked why I would not

put down my rifle at Oosterbeek Crossroads,

at Arnhem in '44, when the panzers caught us

and we could not make amends;

 

I said “How can you live a life fulfilled

if you would not die for your friends?”

 

Chris Hubbard

Tessy-sur-Vire, France

2016

capebattlebravadobig ideatumbrelArnhemfriends

◄ Pavane

The Humble Heart of the Craftsman ►

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