In a Soldier's Hand MAG

By McKayla Watkins, Midlothian, VA

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
I AM
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.”



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This article has 35 comments.


MissAkari GOLD said...
on Jun. 14 2013 at 10:19 pm
MissAkari GOLD, Sierra Madre, California
10 articles 5 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Time goes by so fast, people go in and out of your life. You must never miss the opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you."

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!

on Feb. 3 2011 at 9:38 pm
K.a.t.h.l.e.e.n. SILVER, Plymouth, Massachusetts
6 articles 0 photos 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
See everything, Overlook a lot, Correct a little.

soldiers fight for our defense, it is not the same as murder!

Hollyss SILVER said...
on Dec. 25 2010 at 12:45 pm
Hollyss SILVER, Stafford, Virginia
8 articles 0 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Fiction reveals what reality obscures"-Jessamyn West
"You can't leap a 20-ft chasm in 2 10-ft jumps."-Anonymous

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.

Astronesthes said...
on Dec. 20 2010 at 8:02 pm
Astronesthes, Central Square, New York
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
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!

on Dec. 20 2010 at 4:06 pm
Babygirl809 SILVER, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
8 articles 3 photos 19 comments
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. 

on Dec. 20 2010 at 2:15 pm
makemelegendary BRONZE, Prescott Valley, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Open your eyes, look within. Are you happy with the life you're living?" -Bob Marley

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(:


TheJust ELITE said...
on Nov. 10 2010 at 7:37 pm
TheJust ELITE, Ellenton, Florida
254 articles 202 photos 945 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I feel that a hero is somebody who will stand up for their values and what they believe in and that can take any form. People that have values and have thought them through rather than those who just do what they’re told."-Skandar Keynes

"When it’

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.

*~*~*~*~*~* said...
on 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.

TheJust ELITE said...
on Nov. 8 2010 at 7:52 pm
TheJust ELITE, Ellenton, Florida
254 articles 202 photos 945 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I feel that a hero is somebody who will stand up for their values and what they believe in and that can take any form. People that have values and have thought them through rather than those who just do what they’re told."-Skandar Keynes

"When it’

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 9/11. Have you ever thought about if you had a family member or friend die due to the bombings of the world trade centers or those planes? You would want justice and you would want to protect the many other people who may be harmed if a calamity such as that happened again. You would want that problem taken care of. America has never started a war. We have been pulled into wars whether as allies or as the victims of an attack. Wars we have been involved in have been justified. And if this is about soldiers in another country, sorry. But how I read it and until the writer tells me otherwise I see it as a direct insult to the men and women who serve. And peace is an unattainable goal until the threat is first taken care of. There is no possible way to talk of peace while soldiers from other countries are still attacking our borders or are planning too. 

*~*~*~*~*~* said...
on 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 when really they could have even been writing about soldiers from other countries. you were quick to assume that they were calling american soldiers murderers, when if you actually read and process the poem they are talking about how peace is better than war not how war is murder. and the freedom of speech is the freedom to say whatever you believe in whether someone agrees with it or not. also, about your respect and responsibility bit? the author of this poem never said one directly disrespectful thing (whether you interpreted it that way doesnt matter) whereas  you were directly disrespectful to the author saying that "Every soldier in America should slap you across the face for just righting this! Shame on you!" sorry if i think that isnt fair. i dont think war is something to be celebrated until its over. sorry i dont approve of killing... think about it; those people we are fighting that are supposedly the bad guys, cold blooded killers, evil... they have families too. they are fighting for reasons they think are right, and just because you disagree doesnt make them wrong. i am not saying i agree with them, but maybe they wouldnt agree with America's reasons for fighting.  and i have a question for you... if one of those soldiers were to kill someone in your family, would that make them murderers? and would you still approve of war?

 

Also, I'm not saying i dont respect soldiers and all they do for our country. im not saying i think everyone who fights wars or supports wars are bad. im just saying that i wish we didnt have to fight. i wish people didnt have to get hurt just for me to be safe, to have a happy life with the rights i really do appreciate and think about frequently. Alot of my family are war veterans, and i dont think this disrespected them in any way. i have close family friends i really care about who are still soldiers. i wish they didnt have to be in danger. and i respect your right to disagree if that is what you choose. 

A lot of veterans now wear peace signs.

 


TheJust ELITE said...
on Nov. 6 2010 at 8:18 pm
TheJust ELITE, Ellenton, Florida
254 articles 202 photos 945 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I feel that a hero is somebody who will stand up for their values and what they believe in and that can take any form. People that have values and have thought them through rather than those who just do what they’re told."-Skandar Keynes

"When it’

That's beautiful. You should submit that as a poem.

TheJust ELITE said...
on Nov. 6 2010 at 8:06 pm
TheJust ELITE, Ellenton, Florida
254 articles 202 photos 945 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I feel that a hero is somebody who will stand up for their values and what they believe in and that can take any form. People that have values and have thought them through rather than those who just do what they’re told."-Skandar Keynes

"When it’

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 right to say anything you want. Freedom of any kind comes with responsibility. Demeaning soldiers to the same status of a cold-blooded killer is abusing that responsibility.

Yes, war is a sad thing, but when a soldier is defending his country for the right reasons, it's not a sad ordeal. It should be celebrated, not condemned, because without our soldiers fighting for our freedom daily we wouldn't have the right of freedom of speech. And this person who wrote this poem wouldn't have the right to abuse that freedom.

God bless our heroes who fight daily so that millions of Americans have the freedom to call them murderers. And so that I have the freedom to defend my family, past, present and future.


*~*~*~*~*~* said...
on 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 have just because they're living. just to feel safe.

also, you asked what gives the author the right to write this? freedom of speech. plain and simple.

 


Hollyss SILVER said...
on Nov. 6 2010 at 1:21 pm
Hollyss SILVER, Stafford, Virginia
8 articles 0 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Fiction reveals what reality obscures"-Jessamyn West
"You can't leap a 20-ft chasm in 2 10-ft jumps."-Anonymous

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.

TheJust ELITE said...
on Nov. 6 2010 at 8:21 am
TheJust ELITE, Ellenton, Florida
254 articles 202 photos 945 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I feel that a hero is somebody who will stand up for their values and what they believe in and that can take any form. People that have values and have thought them through rather than those who just do what they’re told."-Skandar Keynes

"When it’

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!

on Jul. 19 2010 at 12:52 pm
photographeratheart BRONZE, Gulfport, Mississippi
1 article 8 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
A guy worth crying over will never make you cry.

This is one of the best things i have read. I felt like i was actually there. keep writing.

on Jun. 5 2010 at 5:23 pm
bbygurl21 PLATINUM, Boston, Massachusetts
29 articles 0 photos 111 comments

Favorite Quote:
sticks n stones my brick my bones but words cant

omg this peom touched my heart

on May. 14 2010 at 12:19 pm
steve herrmann, Snohomish Washington, Washington
0 articles 0 photos 12 comments
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.

on Apr. 22 2010 at 8:07 pm
BeautifulXWallflower PLATINUM, Wyoming, Michigan
39 articles 0 photos 14 comments
My best friend is in the army. This was AMAZING and touched my heart so much. Keep writing because this was REALLy good!

on Jan. 23 2010 at 5:28 pm
divinelove33 GOLD, Ballwin, Missouri
12 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Our fingerprints never fade from the lives that we touch

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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