child of war

my little one so innocent
so fresh and new and young
a smile to win the masses
a heart soft like a sponge

you grow and learn so eager
so open and thirsty and willing
a friendly look that charms
like a hungry wolf for the killing

you become the scholar
so filled with all you sought
a deadpan look that turns away
you learned the world you bought

when did you lose your innocence
when did you grow so old
when did your face become sullen
and your heart so hard and cold

my little one no longer
so calloused and withdrawn
a face so full of hatred
a soul no longer known