On Killing

Despite what you believe or what

You feel – and some sick perverts

Actually want – you do not know how

You will react when you are forced

To kill someone. And this is a sensitive topic;

Some can’t do it. Some might do it too freely,

Some wrestle with the fact that it seems wrong

Or that this can be solved in some other way.

If you believe in this cause and mission or not

You volunteered, yes. But it is the situation;

The situation that forces you to make the tough

Choice between letting the person, the stranger

Right in front of you, live or die, preventing

Them from doing what they plan to do.

Wrong or right, even if they feel the same way

As you do right then, they’re going to make that choice and

Pull that trigger, or trip that circuit for that bomb,

So you’d better make your choice quicker;

Us versus them. That’s all war is, distilled down

And simplified, for us on the ground doing the work,

It’s us versus them.

And in that game, the ‘us and them’ one

The age or sex of who’s carrying the weapon

Has no impact on my decision making process.

About anotherwarriorpoet

Mathew Bocian served as a Captain in the United States Army with the Stryker Brigade and was deployed to Mosul and Tal'Afar in 2004 - 2005, and to Baghdad for The Surge in 2007 - 2008. He left the Army in 2012 and now uses his poetry as a way to heal from the traumas of war, while attempting to express to readers the realities of war. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and holds a master's from the Graduate School for Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.
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