I lead men who, for you, fight
Provide assurance that war is right

They come to me at times, scared
Fearing an end many soldiers have shared

They look to me for reason and will
After ‘serving’ has lost its thrill

Many young, too young; I hate to see.
These strong young men cry to me.

I recite our goal, extend a hand…
Assure them safe return is planned.

Slowly most do trickle in,
I recite, extend – again.

Most come once, fear realized,
I see them later with closed eyes

Starring, wondering, marching away,
I lead the rest – perhaps astray.

They come here seeking something,
I am not sure they want the nothing…

Many end up finding.
Soon after they are crying.

I recite, extend, rally on!
My boys, our boys, many gone.

Fight, fight! to live – to die.
My men fear. So I must lie.

My recital, my extension –
To fill my quota for retention.

I live, they die. We fight.
Sometimes I too cry at night.

No one there to lead me on,
Just the men dead and gone.

They haunt me, their tears I cry.
Were it only easy for me to die!

War is not worth this pain, these men…
I plead no one think that again.

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