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Fraternity (Free verse) by Christof
On leave, cleaning boots. The acrid tang Of polish and sweat and efficiency rang Like a bell as you sat with your big lips pursed To watch your work and the sunlight burst On the steel-capped toes. Discipline, you said, That's how the army keeps control. One scuffed knee, only five years old I had to concur with a glamorous brother So very much older, so very much tougher, With hair as glassy as a burnished floor. You said: they'll follow you everywhere Will disorder and chaos. That wisdom shared You took yourself off as I marched behind To the end of the path and in my mind To the glorious fields of the enemy dead. Now I see you maybe once a year And then I see me, perfectly clear, My thin-lipped smile, my untidy tie, In the bright-buffed shine and the tight-laced eye Of the shoes that you wear when you sell door-to-door.

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