Why You're Fighting

All I can say is: Sorry,

        that she died without my name.

Now, I'll tell you the whole story

        and where I would place the blame.

It's not true, what some are saying,

        that I failed to heed her plea.

I was serving in the army

        far away across the sea.

When her letters turned more somber,

        after months of cheery words,

I could only write to tell her

        of the scuttlebutt I'd head:

That my outfit had been whetted

        and was waiting for the call

And that, if we won the battle,

        I'd be home before the fall.

But the enemy was ready

        for the fighting to begin

And, with good men on both sides,

        neither had an edge to win.

When the letter came to tell me

        how my child could not be born

And how both died in childbirth…

        so much death…I couldn't mourn.

After years of dead and dying,

        all the generals shared a meal

And, when their talking ended,  

        they shook hands and made a deal.

Then those of us still living

        mustered out and headed home,

But, when we made it to our land,

        our farms were overgrown.       

Now, I tell you boys, don't listen

        when recruiters call your name,

Cause the guys that do the dying,

        on both sides, are all the same.

And, no matter why you're fighting,

        disturbing dreams are all you'll gain.

A Hill resident, the author believes that the appreciation of art should not be influenced by the vagaries or prejudices of biography.