Tickets to the game

by Ivan Donn Carswell

I asked my Dad about the War when I was very young,
he said it happened a long, long time ago
and a long, long way away, he seemed a little vague
on the subject so I relented, I thought he hadn’t attended.
I never knew he got sent tickets to go and only went
because he had to. It had seemed to me to be the only game
in town, and for what I knew, wasn’t frowned upon
because it was so clearly right. He never said he was against
the War, wouldn’t fight or was opposed to use of lethal force,
or might have sympathised with strategic causes
other than our own. He said very little other than get
tight on ANZAC day which was as eloquent an answer as any
might he have needed a defence. When I was old enough
to understand he told some stories; they were not about the War
as such, much more about companionship in far off places,
faces in the crowd, swimming in lagoons with crocodiles,
sharing dangers, plantation owners drinking wine and speaking
French, and in time I understood. His mates were circumspect
as well and when I joined the military they wished me
all the very best but then said even less.
It took me years to guess the reason why.
© I.D. Carswell

Last updated May 02, 2015