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To Kill A Man!

Updated on July 28, 2017

To Kill A Man.

on February 25, 2004.

© -MFB III-All rights reserved

A quick glance

at an abrupt change in the area

of the sector

you are focused in on,

a distinct movement

coupled with a blur

in the distance that

sharpens on your scope,

like a revelation

that catches your breath.


in the fine cross hairs.

the enemy creeps stealth like.

towards your position,

a young Asian face.

stained with dirt, and

laughing at something

another soldier says behind him.

At least three hundred yards away

you click your dope, and slow your pulse

as you figure elevation and wind direction

then you get him fixed, in your sights where

he will soon be broken.

You relax your whole body,

take in a breath and hold it

then blow it out halfway slowly,

with the stock of your rifle

firm against your cheek,

that warm wood grain that is

sun drenched feels like a caress.

Then expertly squeezing,

gently on the trigger,

between pulses, and breath blown,

till you don't even know it's been fired,

it should always surprise you,

with a crack and a kick,

into your shoulder muscle,

as the small victory is launched.

Long before the sound reaches him

he falls like a tent collapsing into

a rumpled pile of clothes, and flesh

that are all that remains,

remains to be counted.

You mark a small check on the butt

of your rifle, and move quickly to

another vantage point in this

long distanced execution, of

a man looking to kill you.

His face will always be there

underneath the crossed hairs,

on your head, and buried eternally

in the back of your mind, plus his name

if you are lucky enough to count coup

will also stick with you forever.

you carry your dead like a small scar

on your soul even though he would have

killed you just as quickly and carried you

as well back home to a normal world

Up close, face to face with death,

it is far more hectic, and personal

the heated words, and screams of courage

as the enemy runs at you.

The beads of sweat and the stench of fear

as two grapple in hand to hand combat

arms and feet striking at soft points

trying to take out a knee, crush a scrotum,

fingers attempting to hook the corner of his eye

to remove it and leave it dangling by its optic nerve

Scrabbling for a bayonet

frantic fingers yanking it free

fist locking around it's heft, feet back pedaling

scrabbling, from the slicing of air, then flesh

a flwick sound as blood spatters in an arc over you,

a strong foul odor as bladder, and bowels empty,

watching the stagger of reality he dances,

as you close in now on your wounded prey

The begging sounds as he stumbles,

breath wheezing, as he tries to desperately,

reach for a weapon, somewhere just south of his demise,

then your blade slips sideways between the

third and fourth ribs, so as not to hit any bones

butter smooth, it is buried to the hilt

and pulled out as quick, in case it's needed again.

Or much more mercifully,

you might take a quick two step behind him,

away from those ghastly eyes of fear, shining whitely,

wetly bulging outward, and then slash a huge gash

across his throat, from one ear to the next,

a clean sweep, and then put a foot in the small

of his back to drop him.

Don't ever let them tell you

war is full of glory,

gory maybe, the copper stench,

of blood never leaves your nostrils,

and the sounds of the dying haunt,

the chambers of your ears for many years

That smell of defecation,

as life leaves the body,

is beyond description,

The gaseous fumes of a rotting corpse,

sweetly sickens you to vomit.

Sometimes, back home you see a face,

in the crowd that reminds you of that man you killed,

and it shocks you, and rocks you back to that time,

till some small detail makes you realize,

it's just someone else.

No one ever talks much about this,

no one really wants to hear it,

war is so much easier on T.V. and in the stats,

and in newspapers, it's cleaner there,

processed, and dealt out in small doses,

but in the trenches, in the deserts,

and in the jungles, men are even now making memories,

that would loosen your bowels, and steal your sanity,

they are taking tallies that they backpack home,

and carry for as long as they breathe free air,

to kill a man is to own, the nightmare of his passing


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    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 7 years ago from east of the equator

      Semper fi, brother poet. You are brave to execute the acts and braver to recall it for the world to share the horror of taking a life and possessing it for the rest of yours.

      I am only grateful that I do not bear this cross.