God Save the Queen


Scorching rays of the sun seeped in the crevices

of our humble home of decaying wood and corrugated iron.

Dry wind swept across the distance

enveloping me and my mother facing each other, both silent

as she wrapped with her gnarled hands

my belongings, my time.


In my hand was a crumpled letter,

dusty with soot: long live the Emperor.

War had torn the country and

in the seemingly eternal draught left

its children's body and soul hungry.


My mother's unwavering eyes, devoid of words

looked at the barren soil beneath my feet.

Pushed towards me what she has packed.

My fingers curled, my nails sinking in to my palms

as a breath escaped my chapped lips

unable to part, not letting my voice loose.


"What you cannot put into words, put into action"

- was what my mother always said

and I finally understood how.

My knees dropped to the rubble but pain there was not

as I bent forwards, hands stretched, palms on the soil.

Made my final bow before my mother

whose lips did not even quiver.

"Go" - she said.


The engines roared, footsteps echoed.

Outside, the requiem has started

for the poor souls who has surrendered their fate

to the motherland.

I stood up and marched to the vehicle, slowly being

filled with many others like me.

Lovers, sisters, and mothers watched on with crystal like eyes

and faces glistening under the sky.

And there was my mother, like stone

unchanging.


That night, smoke rose to the sky and fire engulfed the meandering path

we were supposed to traverse.

A gun, rusted and cold was thrust in to my arms

and there were sudden orders and tears.

"Long live the Emperor" was the battle cry

of the young men who belonged not to this place.

Another bellow of shattering explosion reverberated from a distance.

Then there were shots.

The boy next to me fell to the earth. Cold.


It's real. Tears rolled down my weathered cheeks.

The sky, too, finally shed its tears

for the fallen and for those left behind.

It enveloped us in its damp embrace as thunder roared

and lightning split apart the heavens.

And in that moment I thought I heard her, my mother, cry.


A/N: What an unusual piece from me! HAHA it's a free verse "poem" about a young man subjected by the motherland to go to war. I was inspired by the song "Oh Mom" by T.O.P which I just heard today! :O So interested to see "71 in to the Fire"!

Anyway, I just got really emotional when listening to that song then I started wondering how mothers must have felt when they send their sons to war. Especially those cases where the nation calls them out of the blue due to a lack in soldiers regardless of their age and qualifications (which was common in the history of mankind) I really felt sad imagining myself packing my son's belongings, not knowing if he'll come back. As a mother maybe I will act tough so he won't worry. I'll send him off like he's just going to a field trip then I will only cry once he has left. Then I'll probably cry until he returns.