I watched and let you die that day
Just an adult child at play;
Maybe I killed you
With a twitch of finger
Or a glance of my eye
Or I hurled my lance.
Perhaps I looked you in the eye
And smelled your sweat and fear
As I slid my blade deep into you;
Did I look deep into your soul
Or did I look away and vomit?
Sometimes I called you names
And removed your humanity –
No Huu-Mann! – so you are dead.
In death you died while I live on
And I am diminished and reduced
By your unknown death;
Did I execute you or did I kill you
In the name of monarchy or country
Or was it a professional politician
Who has never served any bar himself?
Perhaps I stood idly by and watched
As you killed yourself and I,
I did nothing but watch.
I did not kill you, did I?
Yes I did, I killed as surely as any bullet or blade
And I stand before myself and scream,
“Guilty, guilty, guilty…” until I have no voice
And my tears run dry and my sobs are still.
I watched you die
And I see the blood upon my hands
And I shall remember you
In flashback and film
That never-ending scene: your death.
I shall remember you
When my children ask,
“How many did you kill in the war?”
I turn away and silently weep
For those children who died that day.
They shall have no children of their own
Nor wives nor sweethearts;
Their lives stopped on that day.
In Memoriam: I killed you!
‘I will remember them.’