The Loudest of Minds

Soldier

Please don't shoot me,
I have a kid and wife. 
You're my foe and I killed your friend.
But this is all I can do.

Please understand, it was nothing personal. 
I was just a pawn, following orders. 
I lay in this waste, like you did. 
Scared for my life, 
Like you were.

Wouldn't you let loose the bullet,
Rather than take it? 
I am worried for my family,
Just like you are.

You hate the demon in me,
Trust me, your friend had it too. 
And I was just as frightened of it,
Like you are, my friend.

Across this damp, cold expanse,
Stand two men, strangers. 
The huge wall of uniform in between,
Painted by the fears of our people,
On both sides.

The goodness in us,
Seems such a little speck now.
We shoot in a heartbeat at each other.
And try to forget,
What does it mean.

If only you had,
Punched a hole in me from over there. 
My heart would have been spared then,
Of this freezing fear, this pain. 
This throb of my will.

They gave me a metal pipe to kill,
But not a heart to die. 
As my being rushes to take it all in,
One last time;
My desperation Burns,
Through this blazing, beautiful sun.

The war is far away in the distance,
Further than home. 
The air I take in fear, 
The air you take in rage,
Is all there is now.

The men bending over the maps,
People huddled together oceans away. 
Those who would come out, 
Without knowing much. 
Those who'd only read about us,
In history books. 
Those who'd do it again.

If only they knew.