The Soldier’s Prayer

I remember the farm,
The kitchen all warm,
The barns all full of hay;
And the choice I made to live by the blade
On that fateful recruiting day.

In foreign fields
All robbed of their yields,
Breathing air that tastes of war,
I remember the times when the harvest came in,
The cider all flavoured with straw.

I remember the orchard
Humming with bees,
The branches covered in flowers,
And now I crouch here, my heart full of fear,
And our bombs are falling in showers.

I remember my wife,
The core of my life,
Her smile as we put out the light,
And now in my dreams I hear nothing but screams
From a child in a mother-less night.

I remember the love
And the call of the dove
As it sits in the tree by the well.
I remember the peace of the daily work
And the call of the Sunday bell.

How will my sons
Repudiate guns
When their father does nothing but kill?
But if war I spurn, and if I return,
Oh God – let that farm be there still!

Lesley is a lover of animals, campaigns and writes on war/peace, climate change and the environment. She is the former editor of Abolish War. Read other articles by Lesley.