Modern Day Conscription

It’s a modern day conscription,
A twenty-first century war.
You know the drill by now,
You’ve done this all before.

We’ll trade gas masks for cloth masks,
But the sentiment’s the same.
History will remember them,
A dark and sombre fame.

To protect the others,”
The burden falls to youth.
Our children young and innocent,
Don’t understand the truth.

They put their faith in adults,
Who are there to love and guide.
Who they trust and admire,
Whose rules they will abide.

How can they be so reckless,
With the sanctity of their lives?
How can we ever forgive ourselves,
For turning weary, blinded eyes?

A generation sacrificed,
Black and white, in gilded frames.
A silent whisper then said,
Never again.

Yet 100 years later, it’s happening anew.
Just wear a mask to save them – The heroic thing to do.”

But what about the dangers?
Our great-grandmothers cried.
As their beloved uniformed child,
Was sent unwittingly to die.

It’s to protect the vulnerable,
He’s a strong and healthy chap.
It’s not for long, he’ll be home soon,
You mothers do love to flap.”

It’s for the good of the country,
The masking of your child.
And then we can be free again.”
The politician smiled.

A small sacrifice for freedom,
A tiny price to pay.
Then why is my heart heavy?
Why does my soul ache today?

Our great grandmothers listened.
They conformed.  They obeyed.
They ignored their fears.

And forever rued that day.

But what could she have done?
That mother torn in two.
Whose strong willed charge insisted,
It was what he chose to do.

When everyone else was bedecked,
With finery on show.
When shame of being selfish,
Was lavished if you said ‘no’.

When posters, ads and billboards,
Screamed out relentlessly –
Do your duty!  Wear with pride!
Conformity is key.

The war within herself,
The war around the world.
But could she unleash war
On the child now grown?  Unfurled.

The child voicing opinions,
And old enough to choose.
To shackle him with her beliefs,
Was a war she had to lose.

Author: Lowrey E. Gray

Usually found with a cup of tea, a pet or a book, I am most content with life's humble gifts. A catch up with friends and home baked cakes is my idea of bliss. My heart beats where my family are close but my soul will always be in that place between sunset and sunrise. 💚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *