The old man hobbles down the familiar street,
tapping to find his way, unnoticed by passers by.
Behind his unseeing eyes he relives painful memories.
They are as fresh to him as yesterday’s bread
these images of Death exploding around him.
He sees his comrades in arms falling
their faces contorted as life ebbs painfully away.
Young men who, tomorrow, will be tears in the eyes
of their mothers and girlfriends suffering at home.
He will always remember their unswerving courage.
Suddenly, a present day conflict awakens him
from his cruel, eternal nightmares in the dark
as a gang of youths swagger down the same street.
Shouting and singing, they abuse a tin can
with their heavy, uncaring boots.
The mob jostle their way through the crowds
treating everyone they meet with equal disregard
as they please only themselves.
They are, the old man grimaces to himself,
free as a result of his life sentence.