(Ahem) Excuse Me

This is from Hard Lines, the 1983 anthology of new poetry and prose.

(Ahem) Excuse Me

(Ahem) Excuse me.
I never wanted atom bombs
but they didn’t ask me anyway.
I never wanted two world wars
but I wasn’t born then anyway.
I wasn’t asked about things in Ulster,
I was the quiet one mumbling “Please sir.”
My vote didn’t count when it came to Angola.
I gave my opinion, but I don’t think they heard.
It wasn’t me who wanted Vietnam
but they didn’t ask me anyway
and I never wanted Afghanistan
but they didn’t ask me any BLAM …

Peter Astley

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