When we were young
my friends and brothers and I
played Cowboys and Indians
whooping and hollering in the back yard,
with feather dusters in our hair
or stick on Sheriff stars.
No one shot to kill
you could still play on with a nasty leg wound
or my brother would morph into
Doctor Fix-It-Up and
Allakazam! you were
back on your feet again.
Twenty years on,
babysitting my nieces and nephews
“We’re off to play war” they shouted
hurtling out the back door,
while I resisted the urge to don
my feather duster and join them.
An eerie silence grew
as I watched them sit in chairs
two by two and wait and wait
“What are you doing” I called to Jack
“We’re suicide bombers, silly” he said
A minute later they were dead.