Joe’s number came up,
and he never came home.
Homesick for the innocence of teenage summers,
driving his dad’s truck down to the moonlit beach,
with a couple of cans that they shouldn’t have had,
and a couple of friends he’d never see again.
Joe’s sister was an unwed mother,
but he still wrote to her at the home for wayward girls,
trying to make conflict sound like the games of soldiers they’d play together in the back yard when they were young,
but Mary heard the ricochet of the rifles,
and the screams of children,
she sobbed into her pillow,
a blood soaked letter on her bedside table.
All the girls used to like Joe’s long blonde hair,
they said he looked like a movie star,
but in his last few moments,
the long hair was long gone,
and he was cradled in a crater,
like a frightened child.
Joe was a frightened child.
with dreams that were never going to make it out alive,
and neither would he,
but what was it for?
What was it all for?