Poetry

Their War: Our Fight

By 24th April 2010December 9th, 2019No Comments

Damned cheek, fumed the dining-table.
We’ll not stand for it, declared the shooting-butt.
Will we be ruined, asked the dressing-table.
We’ll make a fortune, asserted the board-room table.

They can’t do that, opined the dinner table.
If only I were younger, huffed the five-iron.
We’ll have to cut back, mused the tennis-racquet.
I’ll get promotion, hoped the mahogany desk.

Foreign bastards, said the kitchen table.
They’ll never defeat us, said the public bar.
We’ll starve, said the ironing-board.
Think of the overtime, said the lathe.

We have no choice, announced the dispatch-box.
I agree, declaimed the bench opposite.
It’s war, shouted the back-benches.
Order, order, exhorted the Speaker’s chair.

War declared, headlined the city-desk.
Do your duty, blared the front page.
Ration textiles, advised page three.
Another thousand words, pounded the typewriter.

God is with us, preached the Episcopal throne.
God help us, prayed the pew.
Thy will be done, murmured the priedieux.
Pray for victory, intoned the pulpit.

Another twenty battalions, ordered the high-command.
Jolly good show, brayed the officers-mess.
Lovely weather for hunting, trilled the side-saddle.
Left, right, left, groaned the army boots.

Are they not our brothers, wondered High Table.
It’s indefensible, whispered the library shelves.
I’ll have no part of it, was heard below the salt.
Intellectually bankrupt, concluded the union bar.

It’s our freedom, claimed the canteen table.
It’s our land, cried the welding-torch.
I don’t see why, worried the garden-fence.
It’ll be over by Christmas, said the football-terrace.

They need us, muttered the wheelbarrow.
They can’t do without us, agreed the hod.
You’ll do, welcomed the recruitment-board.
My dad’s a soldier, bragged the school desk.

Where’s daddy, Mummy, asked the dolly.
He’s in the war pet, said the kitchen sink.
He’s a hero, said the street.
Jam tomorrow, said the pantry.

Crack, went the gun.
Bullseye, exhulted the tin-helmet.
Leave him, reacted the stretcher.
Killed in action, read the telegram.

Crack, went the gun.
Mother, screamed the tin-helmet.
Leave him, reacted the stretcher.
Killed in action, read the telegram.

Why are you crying Mummy, asked the dolly.
Silence engulfed the kitchen sink.
He was a hero, consoled the street.
The children are hungry, wept the pantry.

Will it ever stop, demanded the wheelbarrow.
It can’t go on, grumbled the hod.
You’re next, wrote the recruitment-board.
My dad’s been called up, wailed the school desk.

Ten thousand dead, cursed the canteen table.
How many more, groaned the welding-torch.
I told you so, reminded the garden fence.
If only we’d realised, wished the football terrace.

Time to negotiate, wondered High Table.
Time to be realistic, whispered the library shelves.
Time for good sense to prevail, was heard below the salt.
A matter of conscience concluded the union bar.

One more push, ordered the high-command.
The men can do it, reported the officers-mess.
One cannot get grooms, moaned the side-saddle.
Tramp, tramp, tramp, ached the army boots.

Pray for the dead, preached the Episcopal throne.
May they rest in peace, prayed the pew.
Amen, murmured the priedieux.
God will provide, intoned the pulpit.

Victory in sight, promised the city-desk.
Our boys are winning, declared the front page.
Ration textiles, advised page three.
Another thousand words, pounded the typewriter.

They have surrendered, roared the dispatch-box
We’ve won, gloated the bench opposite.
Hooray, shouted the back-benches.
Order, order, exhorted the Speaker’s chair.

Where’s Tommy, asked the kitchen table.
Killed in action, said the public bar.
He left a widow and three kids, said the ironing-board.
It could have been us, shrugged the lathe.

Well, that’s that, declared the dinner table.
We showed them, laughed the five-iron.
There are no artichokes to be had, complained the tennis-racquet.
I can afford to retire soon, dreamed the mahogany desk.

Record profits, crowed the dining-table
More champagne, bubbled the shooting-butt.
Can we afford a house in the country, asked the dressing-table.
Double the dividend, voted the board-room table.

Any work, enquired the ex-army boots.
Nothing today, replied the vacancy-board.
Please, we’re starving.
Nothing today.

John Donnelly

Author John Donnelly

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