In a Soldier's Hand This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I sit cold and cruel
in the hand of the enemy
words disintegrate to dust
the harsh dirt below your feet
cries aloud, sodden with the burden you
force me to carry because
I am the enemy,
or so you say.

made to succumb to others’ bidding,
I feel nothing and aim: hitting
while they still look green and plastic, fake
like the toys you used to play with in Grandpa’s
living room, before you realized
the price of carrying your flag
so high.

but go ahead, lift it higher
nobody will notice the bloody footsteps
imprinted across the stripes.
you will only notice your own trail of loss
as I extinguish nights you could have had
beneath a star-studded sky, holding the hand
of a lover,

you formed me from lifeless steel
and carry me to do the work
no one else wants on their hands,
justifying it with common causes and cures
all the while saying I’m evil
a murderer.
but you know and I know
it is not my will; it is yours.

lay me down now, lay me down.
what are you playing at?
forget the squabble come too far
you must know brutality draws more
and more
until there is nothing else
but lay me down and
you could still have that night,
beneath a star-studded sky, holding the hand
of a lover.

and that person of green and plastic
you see across the barren landscape
lays me down too,
while his mother draws a breath of relief as she
hears his voice on the other end of the telephone,
“It’s over. It’s done. I’m coming home.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 35 comments. Post your own now!

Akari_C said...
Jun. 14, 2013 at 10:19 pm
Wow. Extremely touching and poignant. This is so detailed and descriptive. This is a well written stance on a very controversial point of view. Well done!
K.a.t.h.l.e.e.n. said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm
soldiers fight for our defense, it is not the same as murder!
Astronesthes said...
Dec. 20, 2010 at 8:02 pm
Amazing piece of work! I really love the perspective in which this is written. Im no poetry fan, but this is great for many reasons. The obvious point being how well written it is, and a secondary point being its relevance. Good work!
Babygirl809 said...
Dec. 20, 2010 at 4:06 pm
So basically my father, brother, uncles who all have fought in the war to protect you among others are murders???? So we should just sit back and let whoever wants to attack us. cause hey self- defense is now murder. I see your point but i don't agree with it. I guess its the fact that im an army brat. 
makemelegendary said...
Dec. 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I like this because in my opinion, it's realistic. This shows war from an entirely different point of view. Through our eyes, these soldiers are heroes, to the enemy, our soldiers are murderers, no one wins.

I really admire this piece(:

Hollyss said...
Nov. 6, 2010 at 1:21 pm
I can feel this. I have often sat and wondered, as you see, I am of a military family, if we could really say we were better than our enemies. We claim to be fighting the good fight, but I don't see the difference. Both sides kill innocents for control. I guess this is what any fight is, not just the "good" fight.
BlackHoleHighAlumni This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 6, 2010 at 8:21 am
I am incredibly offended by this. Unless I'm completely missing the point (which I don't think I am), you're calling our heroes, the people that fought to give YOU freedom and fight for YOU to keep your freedom murderers! My dad, grandpa, uncle and several cousins, plus close family friends are in the military. How DARE you call them murderers? What gives you the right? Every soldier in America should slap you across the face for just righting this! Shame on you!
*~*~*~*~*~* replied...
Nov. 6, 2010 at 6:01 pm

definition of "murder"; to kill another human being.

justified or not, it's still killing.

Enemies or not, they are still people, human beings with families and feelings.

If they were not in war, that kind of killing would be called something like massacre or genocide, and it would be illegal, wrong, and frowned upon.

this is not disrespecting soldiers, but merely expressing the opinion that it is sad that we need them to have freedoms that every human being should... (more »)

BlackHoleHighAlumni This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 6, 2010 at 8:06 pm

If you kill someone out of self-defense, is it murder? No. If you kill someone in the protection of someone else, is it murder? No. Murder is the act of killing a person with no justifiable reason. War is not murder when acted upon for the right reasons.

And this is offensive because they are calling my family murderers. That is the wrong word. They are heroes. Nothing more, nothing less. Heroes.

And just because you have the freedom of speech, doesn't mean it gives you the righ... (more »)

*~*~*~*~*~* replied...
Nov. 8, 2010 at 6:43 pm

killing is killing, even if it is lawful or justified. and im not sure i consider war justified because in the past we fought to protect ourselves, but now we are usually fighting over stupid things that we could talk out if we were willing. either that or we're sending out our soldiers to fight someone else's war. im not saying all war is like this so please dont get me wrong, but im saying that you were very quick to say the author was being disrespectful, shameful and should be slapped whe... (more »)

BlackHoleHighAlumni This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 8, 2010 at 7:52 pm
And you think I like war?? Absolutely not. But when terrorists invade our country and kill millions, do you really think that's worth taking the time to sit down and talk about it? Not a chance. When terrorists and their leaders are still free and would without a moments notice attack again and shake our world again and again until they have conquered our country, I don't think millions of more lives are worth taking the time to discuss our issues. And think about the families of the victims of ... (more »)
*~*~*~*~*~* replied...
Nov. 10, 2010 at 7:18 pm
all i can really say is that ive stated my opinions, and the real reason i posted was to defend the author because i didnt think it was right for you to be calling them disrespectful and shameful. i dont know who is right or wrong, because there really isnt any right or wrong with opinions... lets just agree to disagree. i am sick of arguing.
BlackHoleHighAlumni This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 10, 2010 at 7:37 pm
I agree. I do not agree at all with this poem and I believe I have stated my reasons why. If someone else replies, I will state them again. But I'm sick of arguing also. I'm glad you stood of for the author, but I don't agree with him/her. I will not agree until the author comes on and tells me their reasons behind this poem. But I'm not going to argue with you anymore. I'm not saying I'm wrong, I'm just not gonna argue.
Luvmydog1999 said...
Jul. 19, 2010 at 12:52 pm
This is one of the best things i have read. I felt like i was actually there. keep writing.
bbygurl21 said...
Jun. 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm
omg this peom touched my heart
Steve H. said...
May 14, 2010 at 12:19 pm
every soldier is an enemy on the other side, and every enemy is a patriot for their country. every person who dies in war, has a story, husbands v.s. huspands, fathers v.s. fathers, brothers v.s. brothers. separated forever by map lines, and bullets.
BlackHoleHighAlumni This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 6, 2010 at 8:18 pm
That's beautiful. You should submit that as a poem.
Hollyss replied...
Dec. 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm
That also means that, whenever someone is killed in war, it will be considered murder by the side that suffered, and victory by the side that killed. So technically, every death can be viewed as a murder or a victory of sorts, no matter how sad.
BeautifulXWallflower said...
Apr. 22, 2010 at 8:07 pm
My best friend is in the army. This was AMAZING and touched my heart so much. Keep writing because this was REALLy good!
armygirl4larsen said...
Jan. 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm
This is absolutly amazing. It spoke to me right away and to be honest it touched my heart so much I cried. I'm speechless but my mind is running with thought, fantastic work.
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