Bullet Shell

Copperhead

Copperhead, lead and brass,
Gleaming efficient and lean,
Worth only a handful of pennies
A perfect killing machine.

Simply aimed, and another claimed
And taken, without pity,
No thought of human life wasted
In this sad sectarian city.

No pause to think of hardship
Or school railings in the rain,
The body's bones are smashed
And the cycle begins, again.

Was it only for this we were born
To be soldiers without a name,
Ignorant of life and politics
Pawns, in Copperhead's game.

I look at your decoration
Now that the war is done,
A war that wasn't a war
And neither lost, nor won.

And think of those who died
And families, left behind,
Engulfed by flags and glory
It's only pain I find.

Copperhead, I took your medal
That meant so much to me,
I cursed my savage stupidity
And threw it into the sea,
Deep and dark it sank,
Gleaming efficient and lean
Worth only a handful of pennies
A perfect killing machine.