A killer on the road.
A Iraqi man sipping his coffee.
He watches the military trucks drive by.
He looked to the sky and murmur a pray.
I will miss you my wife, my children.
He caresses his chest.
He feel the bomb wrapped tightly against his body.
His eyes are sad and he knows he has no choice.
They killed his brothers.
They came to his country and torn it down to rubble.
He believed in a eye for a eye.
He will be in paradise soon.
Tears fall from his eyes as he think of his wife sleeping alone.
Soldier with M-16 loaded and ready.
He tells his buddy going to be a good night.
Going to kill a few of them damn terrorist.
His buddy with a bible in his hand.
Pray to survive the night without firing his guns.
He whisper I pray I make it through the night.
Please lord keep me safe and let me go home soon.
The city is quiet and the soldier are on alert.
The gunner pass the coffee to his friends.
Tells him my eyes are seeing ghosts again.
He watches the morning light began to appear.
He thinks of a mother and father waiting and hoping to see him.
He makes a mental note to call them tomorrow.
A middle age Iraqi man walked down the street in the early morning.
His hands are sweating.
He see two soldiers guarding a government building.
The gunner asked his buddy was the man a ghost in the distance?
He put the bible down and tells him he is real.
The soldier looked at his bible.
Points his weapon at the man.
He raise his hand to halt the Iraqi Man.
The Iraqi man screams out his daughter name and Allah.
Runs toward the soldier.
The soldier aim his M-16 and shoot three rounds into the man chest.
The Iraqi man falls dead.
The soldier goes to him.
Fall and ask god to forgive him.
He open up and see the bomb and photos.
It still don’t bring comfort to the soldier.
The soldier sit on his cot.
He hold pictures of a man’s wife with two children.
He wonder why he has to kill this man?
He should of been home tossing a football with his brother or something.
He cries for the Iraqi he killed.
Old Sargent said he was a hero.
Those terrorist are just killers on the road.
Waiting for us to end their misery.
He bring his bible to his heart and tries to sleep.
The gunner wake him up.
He tells him we are on again tonight.
He puts the bible on the table.
Dresses into battle gear and walk out of his tent.
He leave the bible tonight on the table.
He had bad dreams.
He dreams he was the killer on the road.
He would do his duty and go home.
He don’t talk of God or Jesus anymore.
He just wishes for the blood to leave his hands.
The gunner smile.
He yelled maybe we can kill a few tonight.
His buddy smile and stare at the road.
© 2012 Coyote Poetry
This is such a powerfully painted scene — you have taken us not only into the heart of the conflict, but into the hearts of these men. Thank you, John.
No real hero in war. Just poor men forced into war with little to gain but to live another day. Thank you for reading and the comment.
Very powerful. Thank you for posting. Let us hope that war can be diverted, become obsolete, and I am glad that the UK parliament voted No to military intervention in Syria. But, let us also hope that we may find a way to prevent the horrors of Syria and other places as well, not by bombing but by finding solutions that can be proactive and still uphold international law.
I hope also. Soldiers from another country won’t be the saviors. They will become the enemy. When you break up a fight. Usually the peacemaking get more hurt than the two sides fighting. Thank you for reading and the comment.
Thanks for this poem John. It should be engraved on War Memorials, and posted in recruiting offices everywhere.
I follow my father footsteps into war. I thought war was part of life. I taught my kids. Don’t do what I did. I must live with what I had done. Go to school and enjoy life. Life is hard enough without the bad taste of war. Thank you for reading and the comment.
Yes, yes, yes.
Never were truer words expressed!
Thank you for reading and the comment. Time for our youth to be safe from war and death.
Your most welcome.
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Thank you for reading and the comment. Some stories are hard to tell. Good men must accept deeds and actions. Their belief and hope must be put aside in war. Fighting for the good guy is easy. When you are in the middle. Who is the good guy.
you are very right. where is humanity, kindness caring and brotherhood. why ruin the beautiful nature. may God show them the right path to live and let live ——amen
I hope so also. I’m tire of war. Time to allow the old world to heal. Leaders must change their views or we need new leaders. Thank you for reading and the comment.
Riveting. It’s very seldom we get any kind of human view of the “other side.” You managed it without polemics. Thank you.
There is two sides to every coin. Your view is where you are standing. When USA fought for freedom. The freedom fighters were considered terrorist. Time for USA to stay home and bring the Soldiers home. Thank you for reading and the comment.
I wonder how much PTSD is a result of the inability to dehumanize the people you’re killing.
I was a Soldier for 15 years. I was at Fort Hood, Texas when the Vietnam era Soldiers came in for a re-union. I felt great sadness. Few of the men had it together. I served them food and heard sad stories of old friends killed in war and after. PTSD is alive and well. New wars are teaches soldiers things a man or woman don’t need to learn.
I served 4 years during Vietnam, but was never in country. I find your poem very moving; I have written a review of it in my blog Omniop http://omniop.net/2013/09/03/killers/
John John John… I so agree. If my family had just been attacked by my own government, why bomb and war against me?
The fire’s always been burnin’
Since the world’s been turnin’
Wickedness is rampant and it is very human to hurt at it worsening in this span of time.
More guns and soldiers can’t fix Syria. Boycott and embargoes. How many more will died because the President want respect?
The sad reality of war … And the real killers are shitting in toilets of gold.
You are right. Outside the White House. Highest unemployment and hunger. Leaders eat steak and drink their wine. The poor get poorer. Rich man will not tax himself.
Yes, the minds that control the world are totally corrupted, they don’t care about their own people. Politicians are only puppets in the hands of the real master … And the master of this world is the Old Serpent himself.
Let’s hope Congress votes NO.
I pray for a no. Poor Syria don’t want to have the same ending as Iraq. Poor Syrian people had suffered enough.
I cant talk about war, because i get argumentative and angry. So i wont 🙂
But the way you write… I can feel your soul in your words.
War should be forgotten. USA need to fix internal problems. Hunger, no jobs and 17 trillion in debt. How can a country who slaughter people since 1961 tell someone they are bad. If someone attack our borders. We need to defend ourselves. If anyone believe sending bombs into Syria isn’t a act of war. They are blind. I don’t want my kids or anyone children to die for Syria. They do not want us. I pray for common sense. This is part of my soul. I visit dead friends in graveyards and I don’t understand why they were killed? Thank you for reading and the comment.