I had but, six soldiers of tin in my hand,
And I was their leader upon grass or land.
For they were to carry the truth of command,
from mountain to mountain, from shoreline to sand.
And freedom they'd sing out, they'd say with each shot
As flags went a whirling and battles were fought.
They be the Spirit of Seventy-six.
They be reformers who tyranny fix.
And guarding each mountain, each hill and each pass,
Indestructible champions of tin and not glass,
Brought forth the heritage that had made them so strong,
Had made them the metal to which they belong.
And glass fixtures tumbled until came the dawn,
When iron found fighters now, covered the lawn.
And the seventy's brought to a quick turning end,
the six wise tin soldiers who wished to defend,
Freedom and Liberty in another's young land.
They lay there fallen, slaughtered in blood, mud, and sand.
But, six is too many to fall so in vain,
to sleep in the senselessness, indifference and rain.
For the land isn't ours and the people don't care,
how many men fall for the poor man, bone bare.
And how can one blame them for wanting their rice!
How very short life without dying thrice
from health, or hunter, or dropping stone
thrown from a building once called your own.
So, gather our forces and bring them all home
for they are neither of glass or tin but of bone.
And they don't belong there, away in that land.
Stop waving the flag for you don't understand.
And bring us the sweet breath of that human lung
keep all your poems, the songs that you've sung.
For that doesn't matter your poems or your praise,
unless you can give them to the dead that you raise.
For all of the bloodshed why can't you see
that the bloodline that's dwindling from both you and me,
is the most precious and vital of any life form,
for without it the earth would be empty, inhuman
just plants, animals, stone.
Yes, freedom is our greatest gift to mankind,
But, it cannot be won by US ...
for those who can't see and are blind.
Yes, I love my freedom and my country too,
but my forefathers wanted it and fought for it too!
And when a people don't know what your flag represents,
They'll mistrust and they'll blame you and hate your presence.
So, wait until a people, the circumference of a group,
A majority of a people wants both the flag and soup.
Feeding the hungry should indeed be our cause,
but empty stomachs care not, whom the bread baker was.
So, feed them and clothe them and then let them choose,
but never be offended if another they choose.
For you can care for the needy as long as they need,
You can care for their health, their people, their seed.
But, you can't in all honesty win them a war,
Or fight them a battle, if they don't wish to war.
For to them you're a stranger and right now, they don't care
From whence comes the food, the clothing they wear.
So, the shots and the bloodshed falls all about,
as freedom and communism both cry out.
Yet neither's embraced and neither's denied,
as the masses, the peasants keep their tongues tied.
And silently wonder where it all ends,
If tomorrow will come or the road ever bends.
By Linda A. Copp
©April 19, 1970