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The War in Black and White by Val Waldron

I thought that wars were fought in black and white.

That soldiers, sailors, airmen

soared into victorious flight or landed on beaches

handsome, intact and survived to marry a virgin sweetheart


Who knew how many lived and died

waist high in blood, shit and mud,

snatched moments of battle-weary sleep beside friends,

sometimes just their body parts.


I didn’t know that youth could be snuffed out just like that,

no time for goodbyes or regrets for lives never lived,

children never known, dreams just blown apart.


When I see the red poppy, the merchandise stalls,

the hovering shadow of recruitment,

snaring those who have nothing at all.


When i think of the endless patriotic queue

that marked the death of an old queen who died in her sleep.

The constant barrage of manufactured grief and

the never ending, debauched, depraved, obscene bleating for

more and more…by entitled strangers we didn’t elect

till there is nothing left to fight for.


When I think of that, I think If you must wear a poppy, wear it white.

Val Waldron

One thought on “The War in Black and White by Val Waldron

  1. I never wear a poppy but do contribute to the fund, we have learned nothing since 1918 men women and children still die because of the greed of those in power and as children are slaughtered in Gaza we have a Labour leader who will not condemn nor damand a cease fire, we are a lost species

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