The Face of War by Nick Cooke

I am not a silent poet

They ask the boy not to wipe his face

so all can see the blood and gunpowder.

Does he whine or protest? He does not.

Does he cry for his mother? He does not.

He goes along with everything they ask

because, let’s face it, he is dead inside

or if not dead, then an automaton,

a bloody five-year-old automaton.

He’s a boy that should be in the street

with a ball, and if you threw one at his feet

and told him he had to play, he likely might –

with the same blank eyes that admit no light.

We are people that should be on the street

and some may be, but most are in their seat

sure as they can be it will come out right –

there are always others to carry the fight.

We gaze from behind the polished lens

and clearly see the blood…

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