Thursday, August 12, 2010

224. The straight and narrow

Neil was young once. He had a mother who loved him. He slept in a bed with a green chenille spread. A canary sang in a cage dangling on the back verandah.

Neil had a purpose once. He fed the cattle-dog that adopted their house. He cleaned the canary cage each Monday night. He rode his bike on a paper-round for Mr Henry.

Neil went to school once. He played touch footie on the oval at recess. He helped Miss Cavanagh check the new books into the library in the transportable. He was the milk monitor because he had strong shoulders.

Neil was conscripted once. He tried to grow fungus between his toes. He tried to mis-hear the instructions they barked at him. He tried to raise his blood pressure before the examination. He tried to run away.

Neil served in Vietnam. He returned home more shell than man.


Joan Elizabeth said...

Great story ... conscription was outrageous.

jabblog said...

Poignant - so many young lives blighted by war.

Julie said...

Thank you, both.

I feel this is one of my better Riffs.