On Soldiering, by John Lake

The barrack-room and battlefield mentality
Occluded an alternative reality –
The years you gave away that could’ve been
The other life your loved ones should’ve seen.

You sacrificed that story for your country, not for glory,
And for that we all respect what you have done.
But honour has no place inside the hearts or in the faces
Of the masters who equipped you with a gun.

..

John Lake is a novelist whose books include ‘The Leeds 6 Trilogy’ and Amy and the Fox. Sometimes he writes poetry too, some of which has appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Post, First Time, Krax, Views from Our Windows and 100 Thousand Poets for Change: Leeds 2017. When he’s not writing he DJs as Bass BC.

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