Firing Squad

January 11, 2009
A desert day
in a small village
a silence has come
the silence of loss

I stand here
with a rifle in my hand
I look up at the people
lined up at the ruined wall

They all stare at the dirt
some shaking
some not
but all of them know their fate

As I raise my gun
to complete this terrible deed
one looks up
and stares in horror

As the firing begins
I do not pull the trigger
I lower my gun
and stare at the carnage

I make myself look at each body
each face
to see what I could have stopped
but did not

I look at the final faces
and stop
I see them
see what I have done

I fall to my knees
and my comrades back away
for they know why I do this
they know what they have done

They know that they have destroyed him
destroyed his soul, his life
because among those lifeless faces
are the faces of his family

As they watch him weep
they have to look away
each wishing that it could have been different
but it could not be

So they walk away
leaving their friend to his grief
leaving with their own guilt
and with their own regrets

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