The last combatant of the Great War died today.
There were others before that, others to come
and more after that from wars yet to be fought.
Well I do, for one.
Weep for him then, he was real. He lived and died
and ended a tale writ in the blood of those now forgot.
No story was theirs of tactics and strategies,
principles and beliefs, rights and wrongs done by.
No photograph, no letter, no film, no story,
no person could tell that dead tale as did he, living.
Well you do, for one.
No one can cry enough for them of a thousand fields
nor curse enough they who put them there.
There has never been a great war, let alone a good.
There have only been wars of rapacious intent
botched before the slaughter started,
botched after the slaughter ended.
Well we do, for one.
It’s not the courage, it’s not the strength,
it’s not the sacrifice, the honor or the glory.
It’s not the fear, the joy, the love or the loss,
the guilt or the luck or the sadness.
It begins with obedience and it ends with endurance
and the rest be damned to hell.
Well he did, for one.
It is true that the last combatant of World War I is passed on. That story focused my thoughts on the great admiration and compassion I hold for those who fight at times of war, and how it is matched by my disdain for those who cause and pursue them wantonly.
Thank you for reading As should we all. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.
© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2013 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.