When things explode

it was the turning of a century, it was the time when I turned 18
my grades were good but I couldn’t afford university
so I met with some reps from the military
they said they’d pay my way, in a time of peace

and then two planes interrupted trade
tough luck, load up, let’s bring some pain
straight toward Hussein with a Bushman’s beef
let’s singe the sinners to cinders and – TAKE

they said son, kill, and I killed, it was us or them
I still remember the screams… mothers and children
teenagers tossing grenades, I met with an IED
who’s innocent? not the likes of me
not one man in this mess…ain’t war hell?

when there’s no more ollie-oxen-free, there’s just shreds of dignity
and the right to go out of my skull
and I just might go, these battles have shown
some people only listen when things explode

and so they flew me home a hero
half man, half machine now, with night terrors
from which this morning I woke with a new point of view
and swore to bring the war back home to roost

as they sent my regiment, my friends, onto Afghanistan
I wept from my hospital bed and bought a bomb-making set