Side by side in the morning dew
I saw them walking - two by two
I saw them marching off to war
But nobody knew what it was for.
A small, young boy caught my gaze
I watched him through the morning haze
I thought in astonishment; He is but a child!
Fair and tender, meek and mild.
Clothes all ripped and very torn-
Just recognizable as his uniform.
Who was he leaving behind? A true love?
All he wished for was mercy from above.
My focus wandered to an old man
Trying to continue - if he can.
Trying to go on with all his heart.
He stumbled and wondered, Why did this start?
The back-breaking loads they'd set down at night
Food and clothes, enough for a fortnight
Guns and powder - ready to kill.
The thought of them dying gave me a chill.
I think back to this day and give a sigh,
Rest my hand on my chin, a tear comes to my eye.
This day made my life different from before,
For now I understand the futility of war.
These men may have fallen in the fire of the North
Victims of the savagery war does bring forth.
Was there a victor? The answer is "no."
I learned this that day I looked out my window.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.