“The Lieutenant’s a Hajji-lover!” you said.
For my empathy towards the tortured souls
Awash in the churn between us and the enemy,
Stuck. Maybe you were right.
Made me weak, you thought – too soft.
But in time sentiment felt for the innocents went,
As my eyes became deaf to their position and
Plight – just like to everything else.
And in May when it came calling, you saw;
Stomach contents emptied, woozy and unwell
Confronted up close with the man you just killed
The smell of blood, burnt flesh and cordite in the air.
That day you stood off to the side alone, by the Stryker
That day I stood over the bodies, and ate a granola bar.
We all get tested. Did I pass?