The Enemy

by | Oct 8, 2008 | Poetry | 0 comments

He’s the soldier who disturbs my sleep.
The enemy I killed and for whom I weep.
We met in his trench that mad, mad night
And clashed, in a desperate, dreadful fight.
I’d seen my friend, his legs scythed off
By the heavy machine gun’s vicious cough
And knowing not what else to do,
I’d hurried on to carry through.
But instead, I found his darkened pit,
And tumbled headlong into it.
Our rifles were useless, there was no room
And we’d lost them anyway in the gloom.
So we fought hand to hand. Two maddened boys.
Lost and alone ‘midst the battle’s noise.
He pinned me down and strangled me.
I was so scared, it made me pee.
I felt my light begin to dim,
Then my fingers found the helmet’s rim.
And I dashed it hard against his head,
Again and again, until he bled.
I felt his grip begin to slack
And rallying, I threw him back.
Threw him back onto the ground
And then, the folded shovel I found.
With all of my strength I drove it down
And buried it deep in his shaven crown.
With such awful damage to his head
I thought that he was surely dead,
But whilst his torso laid inert
His leg kicked hard against the dirt.
Thump! Thump! Thump! It struck the side
Till the trench collapsed in an earthen tide.
I struggled free, but he lay there
And I can only recall his close cropped hair.
The fight was won. We’d gained the hill
And by dawn’s grey light, I saw him still.
Half buried there inside his trench,
A sight, which gave my heart a wrench.
We’d known why we fought and we’d fought to survive,
But now, I wished him still alive.
An enemy, like any other,
But laying there, a human brother.


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