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The War To End All Wars

'The war to end all wars' they said
As I led there with a handkerchief soaked in red,
My brother had held it in his hands
When I found him cold on Belgium lands,
They said it was for the greater good,
That men had to do what all men should,
To fight, to protect, to die for the king,
Instead he now lies atop an angel wing,
Unless he didn't make it that far
And instead writhes in Hell sipping the Devil's cigar,
After all he killed so many men
Who all prayed that very same night a silent amen,
Shells exploding, metal shards turned through skin,
Cards over hearts that read their next of kin
In case they never made it back
And their families could collect the soldier who had lacked,
It happened so fast, he never saw it coming,
An onslaught of bullet had sent me running,
Eyes growing dull and his colour drained,
Ten minutes later I watched it again,
My mother cried for three straight nights
And cursed the man who started this fight,
Came back with flags draped over coffins and sang, 'We won!'
But what we had seen could not be undone,
Trench foot, coughed-up lungs, rats gnawing at flesh,
Twenty-one years later and the scars still seemed fresh,
'The war to end all wars' they said,
It made me wonder if we'd have been better off dead.

by India Jones (15)
Greenbank High School, Merseyside

Competition - War Of Words

Copyright remains with the author.