original poems by john allen

He returned a man

He left a boy
fresh from school.
He returned a man -
broken and battered
beyond recognition.
When his country called
he stepped forward,
as young men are wont to do.
And, as has happened
so often throughout history,
he was sacrificed
for the grand ideals of politicians.
He gave his life
in a far away land,
striving to bring peace
to a shattered nation.
Now he lies in his grave,
at the tender age of 22.
He leaves behind
grieving parents
and a youthful bride.
There will be no children
to carry on his name.
No future glory awaits.
No grand deeds yet to be done.
All that is left
are the memories
of a too-short life and
the legacy of his sacrifice.
Only time will tell
if his death was worthwhile.
And that depends on who writes
the history books.

May he rest in peace


© John Allen March, 2006

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