A box on the guardroom table
Near the door, just by the wall
An innocent looking box
Metallic, grey, and small:
A knob or switch on the front,
Memory at times let's me down
Meant that little gizmo really was
The most important thing in town.
Sent back to Corps Depot though
Nobody then admitted knowing why
I enjoyed the period of lazy ease as
Days then weeks flowed gently by.
Until somebody had this idea,
One of typical military flare and style
And thus I took command of the ,
Guardroom and Police for a while.
Thus the box on the table,
Seemingly innocently asleep,
But at a certain time every morning
I had to check to its steady bleep.
Slow and consistent would signal
Just a normal summers day
Fast and high pitched would mean
Nuclear missiles on their way.
A facile exercise really
Because all It just meant
My last four minutes of life
Were about to be spent,
Not in anything pleasant like
Making love or having a drink
Just four minutes left
To reflect, to sit and think..
They called it Early Warning
in my opinion far too late
Just four short minutes to
Sit and wait inevitable fate.
Mutual Assured Destruction
Would release the nuclear hell
That the prevailing wisdom said
Ensured they'd be dead as well.
In the end I didn't bother
To run that little daily test.
To help maintain my sanity
I thought it for the best.
And not long after that
Common sense prevailed
My time as guard commander
Being very abruptly curtailed.
Thus for a little while each day
With that button under hand
I became one of that elite of
The most informed in the land
As my little box's bleep told me
For now the world was still Ok.
Mutually Assured Destruction
Not yet winging on its way.