I wrote this poem for the next Guernsey Poet's open mic, the non compulsory theme being; 'Toys'.
It is a sad fact that children in countries that have bee affected by war fall victim to ordnance which litters the countryside. I have based this poem in a non-specific tropical country but munitions left over from both World Wars still litter the fields of Europe.
Quick bare feet flick red dust from the path
It swirls briefly in the warm dry air
then settles amidst golden grass
The boys jump back and forth across a ditch
the game, follow the leader,
faster and faster across the scrubland.
Sharp eyes scan the leader's foot fall
the young mind adjusts each step
to ensure it's placed precisely on the trail.
A ray of light cast eight minutes ago
by a burning sun, millions of miles away, stops the game
as a glint catches sharp eyes.
Young hands grasp the unusual, shiny, object.
They rotate it, examine it, shake it
and admire smiling reflections in its silver skin.
The chase begins anew; the cylinder - a baton
passed from hand to hand in a relay
which takes the two home.
A voice calls, they race inside
the new 'toy' tossed to a corner
where it bounces and spins on the earthen floor
Later, in the gloom, of the sparsely furnished home
father steps on a strange metallic object
and a bead of sweat runs down his back.
John Carré Buchanan
08 December 2014