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Toy Soldiers

- A Pantoum -

Toy soldiers at home in their box,

My son’s playtime a game of war.

When daring hearts wounded all clocks,  

Battled blindly the grief and gore.


My son’s playtime (a game of war)

Now real, because God and country

Battled blindly. The grief and gore

My darling son bowed to, duty


Now real. Because God and country

Captured thought, forcing doubt away

My darling son bowed to duty.

Allegiance cleared the foggy grey,


Captured thought. Forcing doubt away,

Triggered souls hid camouflaged fears;

Allegiance cleared the foggy grey.

Stranded in no man’s land, for years


Triggered souls hid camouflaged fears,

Hanging on to the limbs of time.

Stranded in no man’s land for years,

Splintered warrior—child of mine.

Hanging on to the limbs of time,

These figures—strangers yet brothers,

Splintered. Warrior child of mine

Longing familiar others,

These figures strangers, yet brothers.

In murky mist disease and death

Longing. Familiar others

So far away . . . Alone, last breath


In murky mist. Disease and . . . death.

Earth sifted existence. Clustered

So far away, alone. Last breath.

How still my child lies, undisturbed.


Earth sifted, existence clustered.

Shrapnelled spirits, life—suspended.

How still my child lies. Undisturbed, 

A lost essence now—expended.


Shrapnelled spirits, life suspended

When daring hearts wounded all clocks.

A lost essence now. Expended

Toy soldiers. Back home in their box.

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