We are told to remember
So that it won’t happen again
Yet it keeps happening again
The remembering isn’t working
Or maybe the remembering
Is working all too well?
Part of a coordinated push
To recruit for the ongoing
Oil wars and proxy wars?
Working in tandem
With endless advertisements
On television and radio
For an exciting career
In the army or navy
Full of thrilling play
With massive toys for boys
(And thunderous toys for girls too!)
Around the world adventure
Training in professions and trades
Friendship and camaraderie
The discipline absent at home
The respect we all as humans crave?

The ads never mention killing
The real risk of the grave
Or being blown into a chair
The ads work on childish dreams
And the desperation of the adult
At the bottom of the social heap
And the wall to wall media blitz
Of Remembrance Day
Of Remembrance Sunday
(Of Remembrance week by now)
Tips the balance for the young heart
Wondering what to do with her life
All the grave and sombre respect
Shown to the servicemen of yore
The great honour they have achieved
Reaches into her soul
And makes her pick up the phone
She knows whatever happens
That she will never be alone


Roddy McDevitt

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