Are heroes really necessary?
can we live without them?
conscript or volunteer
must others die
so they can live?

Hero is a four lettered word
spoken in a recruitment office.
Trust in authority an asset.
Must be vulnerable
but training given.

Is heroism merely a moment
of panic in a foreign land?
A reaction to fear or fright,
a wild-eyed freak-out
when judgment fails.

Do we need a false faith
in jingoism? A denial of old age.
A make believe
in the name of honour
for those unlived years.

Blood-soaked triggers point
at politicians. They stand at ease,
while generations keep treading
in their trench.
Shall we do our duty
or should we break rank?

In the aftermath a memory
is sculpted. Embodied in glory,
fashioned in fame.
The flag is waved. Medals are struck.
But who is victorious?

Alan Ford has been writing poetry for about a year and is interested in unusual subjects rather than traditional ones. His work has been published by literary magazines Down in the Dirt, Ariel Chart. Conclave, Blue Lake Review, Academy of the Heart and Mind and Scarlet Leaf Review, and Dissident Voice. His fiction books are The Himmler Contract, The Hitler Affair, The War Criminal, The St George Murders and the satires Nelson Mandela's Ghost and Elvis Presley's Ghost and Princess Diana's Ghost. Read other articles by Alan.