In cities, towns, and villages
There stands, in bronze or stone,
Sometimes astride his battle horse,
At other times alone,

The figure of a warrior,
Of one who has stood tall;
Of one who for his country's need
Has risked his very all.

And sometimes such a citizen
Is called to pay full price
To lie in death on foreign soil:
Supreme, that sacrifice.

They all are held in high regard
With solemn memories.
While widows and the fatherless
Have unhealed agonies.

The soldier though is called to play
A deadly final game;
To meet a foe with like intent:
To destroy or maim.

But such a way is foreign to
A basic life instinct.
"Thou shalt not kill" rings loud and clear;
A memory distinct.

A nation though is called at times
To man the battle zone,
And send her fighting sons away
To help defend her own.

But there are those who back at home
Will spend their lifelong years
Providing for the nation's need
With tireless sweat and tears.

They are the farmers of our land
Whose battle's never done.
With drought or flood, pest or disease,
As much is lost, as won.

Their endless work is not to kill,
But rather keep alive.
With food provided on each plate,
The nation shall survive.

The ones who aim but to destroy,
With statues are adored,
But those who strive to nourish life
Are mostly left ignored.

© Tom Chapman 2008