War Torn

Some remnant living in muscle memory
is pressed, dressed and polished each time
he marches, slowly now and with tired bones,
to the Legion for his Friday bingo.
His numbers, in all the years, haven't shown
as ex-corporal caller turns the wheel
and the same bally jokes revolve and drop,
snipered, on the half-deaf, half-dead, half-full
hall of pensioners with fat pens
and luckless grins whose week's entertainment
spins and tumbles. Someone checks. They groan.
He removes his specs sauntering barwards
for his first pint, shouts an old joke,
'Hey, you barsteward'
takes the barkeeps wince for a smile.
He re-enlists each Friday, soldiering on,
wishing he might 'fall-out'.

by James Mills

Comments (4)

just....just wow I love how you found a rhythm that suits the writing amazingly
great piece. I can find the rhythm here...it flows in a perfectly sentient way...it depends if one likes free verse an internal rhythms...I do...it has to with spondees, dactyls, et al.
your last three lines, struck me there, in the heart... Especially the last, a lonely 'surrender' that it is so meaningful... very well done! HBH
Excellent poem encompassing all the senses. Particularly liked the ending. 'He re-enlists each Friday, soldiering on, wishing he might 'fall-out'. Surrender.' Well done James! Lots more please and which are you? When I click for more information there is a wealth of info about James Mills... so where are you from? You have obviously been writing for a while - your skill & experience shows.