An Obligation

I have never faced war,
no action under fire,
no orders to follow,
parade-free, slouched:

My grandfather declined,
being the religious one,
and, so, an objection.

His son ran off to sea,
sealed in a submarine;
Dad learnt how to kill,
and how not to die.

My other grandfather,
lost to Rommel in Africa:
Would I object to orders,
like those I imposed,

on my Action Man
– gripped hands?
I would not:
I owe my past a life.