February 1, 2023

Parapraxis

Writer's Showcase

‘Conscript’

1 min read
Then I saw his eyes – and what they’d seen.

Image courtesy of Australian War Memorial; from Wikimedia

              

                               

Conscript

Bazza and I both rolled the dice,

with the numbers our birthdays,

partners in that unlucky lottery.

When it landed I was the one free,

but for him it meant the army.

Some years later I met him again

both drinking in the same pub,

so, I thought we might catch up

the years lost in between;

then I saw his eyes –

and what they’d seen.

© D G Moody 2022

 

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7 thoughts on “‘Conscript’

    1. Thanks for the feedback Allen. Yes, it does seem that Vietnam was a waste of lives – seeing as now its a favourite holiday destination for my Aussie family. Maybe they should have cut out the war before? And war is hell, that’s the fact.

  1. War devastates the soldier. My partner served in active duty. Prior to knowing him, I wasn’t close with anyone who had served in the military. The things he has shared with me about his experience, are impossible for me to comprehend. And being drafted into the army based on a birthday feels inhumane today. So many lives lost, and even those whose physical bodies survived, were destroyed emotionally. Truly heartbreaking. This poem captures that sentiment beautifully.

    1. Thank you Jenny, for your insightful comments. I have a friend who served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, and he is still dealing with agent orange exposure. And we have just marked the fortieth anniversary of the Falklands conflict – as Borges put it: “two bald men fighting over a comb”.

  2. It’s pathetic how soldiers go through a lot…they see pain, and even face death.
    A short poem but gives an insight on the happenings in today’s world.
    He didn’t have to start relaying the story…it was written in his eyes already.
    And eyes don’t lie.

  3. Thanks for the comment June. This is based on a true story. My workmate’s number came up, while mine did not; and it could have easily been the other way round.

  4. WOW Dougie that was gooood, and knowing it was a true story makes it even more special. The part where you mentioned his eyes said it all was very deep, it’s not just about the soldier, everyone’s eyes reveal about them and him being a soldier is a matter of pride and I am sure there must be nothing else in those eyes other than proud.

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