First Born Son

Little soldier stands with feet apart, pretending his heels don’t ache

Growing up too fast, wearing uniforms that could never fit his tiny frame

He lifts the weight life has given him and says “Don’t you have any more?”

Carry on Little Man, because no one here is going to carry you

Carry on Little Man, because the cannons are here and it is time to fight

Be silent when the demons come at night, because they’ll all come flooding in if you open that door

Barely old enough to shave they handed you a gun and said “Here, be a man.”

They thrust you into the ocean and said “Beat the sharks or go back to minimum wage.”

While the pin up girls you’d call sister spend their days drinking pepsi and getting tan

While you climb until your bones burn, just to prove you had legs to stand on

No one ever asks you how you got those calluses, we all just assume they were stamped into your hands at birth

Like fingerprints

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