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They are the graves and the stats and the mothers
And citizens living where forces are tasked –
Who, we are told, so willingly suffer,
And cheer on our conflict (though never get asked).
Yet those who are calling for vengeance and blood –
Beseeching the need for the selflessly lying
Of lives-on-the-line so to hold back the flood –
They’re never the ones who always end dying.

They are the facts and the doubts and worries,
The objective news and the cooler-held heads –
It feels like they’re all swept away in the hurry,
To rumour and jingo and front-page spreads.
Yet those who are calling for boots on the ground –
They’re des’prate for war, just to send the bombs flying –
But we can ignore them, and talk ourselves down,
And all be the ones who never end dying.

I think it was written at the time of the Iraq war, and has aged as badly as the decision to fight.  This now sounds very preachy – it’s still a trap I fall into when I’m angry and it rarely works.  At least yhe second verse attempts to give it a bit of optomism.

One thought on “Collaterals

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