War

I do not want to go to war
He smiled at me through tears
I’ve seen what happened from before
I’m frightened for my peers

Together we’d a summer spent
Had known a bond grow fast
I knew his pride would not be bent
To sway him from this task

So off he went with regiment
All shining faces, banners bright
And banging drums, and good intent
My soldier boy, afraid to fight

But I did send to keep him sharp
A friend, brave dragon green of wing
To see his bullet missed its mark
That boy might yet know home again

Through battle fierce and strong he fought
My faithful dragon at his side
His comrades fell but no harm caught
The cloak of scales my boy did hide

With ragged charge he led the cry
Though enemies did gather round
To show that boys who fought must die
And dance upon his burial mound

Then dragon flew to meet the rows
That stood upon the field of blood
And raked their hearts and called to crows
To feast upon what men lay dead

Close-minded, mean and skilled at arm
The enemy held steady rank
But boy could come to little harm
While dragon-breath uncoiled and stank

The sulphurous and pungent depths
Of dragon lungs gave forth so vile
A stench of smells, a googolplex
Of odours creeping closer while

My boy stood safely from the wind
That wafted death along the line
It stole the breath from all who sinned
In thinking my boy less than mine

And thus the war was cheating, won
As dragon saw my boy safe home
To give a mother back her son
Not let his sweetheart lie alone

My dragon yet has other chores
To keep a creature from his cave
For well-equipped with fangs and claws
The dragon may pretend he’s brave

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