It’s as safe in the Army as it is in Hackney;
They’ll make him a man and they’ll teach him a trade
And though they will send him to Afghanistan
He’ll have clothes, he’ll have food and he knows he’ll be paid.
His mum’s not too happy he’s gone for a soldier;
He has to grow older and be free from harm.
Yet most boys come back, she keeps telling herself,
With their limbs all intact, so she keeps herself calm.
They teach him to shoot and they teach him to drive,
With tricks of the trade to help keep him alive.
The training is hard but he makes lots of mates
And he finds that a life of adventure is great.
So now he is ready to fight for his Country;
They send him abroad and he’s out on patrol.
Some people, he knows, have been killed or been wounded
As some were in Hackney when he was at home.
The difference for him is that he’s now seen hell
And although he got through it he’s mentally maimed
From the things that he saw, of which he cannot tell,
For which leaders on both sides should all be ashamed.
So what was the purpose, the reason for conflict,
Why must it be that we have to have war?
He’s now left the Army and gone back to Hackney
Where he carries a knife, like he did once before.
Part of a suite of poems by Andrew Diamond in aid of Remembrance Day 2013. Andrew said he hopes his poems will ‘make people look for a better, peaceful and more caring world’.