Russian conscript

He said It’s time to be willing
To die for the motherland
And stamped my papers
But I want my daughter to live in peace!
Men are born to fight, he said
Don’t be a wimp
Then he got gloomy and looked at the floor

I thought of my friends
Who electrocuted toads
I thought of the stone fights and the day
I knocked my brother’s best friend to the ground
Because I wanted to pay my brother back
For all the humiliations
That add up until your blood boils over

I asked him Why do men fight?
I asked the gloomy man
Who just stamped my papers
That put all my dreams on hold
And he didn’t look up
Instead he stacked some papers
And said
Because we don’t know who we are

Then I woke
And I only dimly recalled
Going home
To tell my wife
My daughter’s mother
Who my mother warned me
Was too good for me
That I was in the army
Not the hard-working dreamer
That she married anymore