War Games

by Angela Prew

We marshal our battalions,
load men onto barges,
send them across the stream
to face each other.
Phil is Wellington and I?
I am always Napoleon, the enemy.
Pocket money is five piastres,
three soldiers each week
so, though some fall into the water,
(are they there still?)
we are never short of troops
for our war games.
Above us, high above,
a dog fight fills the sky
with tiny toy planes.
We see the flash of fire,
one falls, spirals downwards.
‘A Spitfire,’ we cry excitedly,
and turn back
to Waterloo.

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