I do swear that I will be faithful
She holds my shoulders at arm’s length:
Polished boots, hot khaki and
She pins on a flower and tells me not
To forget. A flame red against my chest.
and bear true allegiance
I can’t seem to get warm. Cold metal
In my arms and ice in my gut.
Flame red. I should take it off
But I’m scared I’ll forget the colour.
to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,
And war’s shouting at my ear
Daring me to hesitate.
So, I let the cold sink in its claws
And I don’t look back.
her heirs and successors, according to law.
He pretends that our friends
Aren’t lying a few yards away
That those are just shapes
In the soulless dark.
He makes a joke. We laugh on
Command and I look down to find
My flame lost to the war –
Dropped some place in the ruin.
So help me God.