The workmen outside

The workmen outside
They could be square bashing
They could be in a barrack room

They start up their noisy machinery
It could be tanks revving up a tank
It could be bomber aircraft ticking over

They could be on guard duty
At Waterloo
They could be firing cannon
At Trafalgar

They talk like a unit of soldiers
In enemy territory
They talk as if they were supplying
The front line

I’m so tired of war
Of living in its shadow
Of hearing it’s voice
Echoing like a fast train
Down through the generations

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