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BY THE SWORD.

Your father made you
a sword out of metal
at the place he worked

and brought it home
one night after work
and gave it to you

after tea and said
Be careful how you use it
I don’t want you using it

dangerously
ok
you said

and went off
with the heavy sword
into the spare room

you called the toy room
the place you fought
bad knights to save

damsels in distress
or have shoot outs
with cowboys

on the wrong side
of the law
and got your gun

out of the holster
before them
and plugged them

full of caps
or the pretend saloon
where you could go

for a shot of red eye
and once you had
the sword with you

you examined it carefully
running a finger along
the blunt blade

and then
you were set upon
by the enemy knights

out of nowhere
three onto one
and you had a sword fight

and being the top guy
you soon had them licked
and lying dead

and you heard your father
call out
from the dining room

Be careful you don’t
kill anyone with that
and you murmured

Too late
I’ve just put them
to the sword

and he laughed
and your mother said
You shouldn’t make him

weapons of death
it gives a false view
of the world

but your father just said
It’s just a toy
just a bit of pretence

and a kid’s got to have
something to use
in his defence

against invisible foes
and then they rowed
and so you shut the door

and put away the sword
and got out your gun
you could blow away

far more of them
and it was louder
quicker and more fun.

BY THE SWORD.

Terry Collett

Horsham, United Kingdom

  • Artist
    Notes
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