Our Futures (Found Poem for All Quiet on the Western Front)

By , Citrus Heights, CA
We are none of us more than twenty years old. (18)
But young? Youth? (18)
That is long ago. We are old folk, (18)
Our early life cut off the moment we came here. (18)
We are cut off from activity, (88)
From striving, (88)
From progress. (88)
We believe in such things no longer; (88)
We believe [only] in the war: (88)
This war [which] has ruined us for everything. (87)

Forlorn like children, experienced like old men, (123)
We are crude, sorrowful, superficial. (123)
I believe we are lost. (123)
I was a soldier, but now I am nothing. (185)
I am alone and almost helpless, (210)
[waging] a wild and senseless fight. (211)

Through the years our business has been killing. (265)
It was our first calling in life, (265)
Our knowledge of life limited to death. (265)
What will happen afterwards? (265)
What shall come out of us? (265)

Now, if we go back, we will be weary, (294)
Broken, (294)
Burnt out, (294)
Rootless, (294)
Without hope. (294)
Men will not understand us. (294)
The generation before will return to it's old occupations, (294)
The war forgotten. (294)
The generation after us will be strange to us, (294)
[They] will push us aside. (294)

We will be superfluous to even ourselves. (294)
Years will pass. (294)
We will grow older. (294)
Some will adapt. (294)
Some will submit. (294)
Most will be bewildered. (294)
But in the end, we shall fall to ruin. (294)
Alone. (295)
Without hope. (295)
Without fear. (295)





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