My Enemy, My Friend

I was your enemy
Not half an hour ago.
I tried to put a bullet
Through your head
But missed.
The sergeant said
“You’re wasting ammunition,
Private! Make each bullet count!
Select your target. Breathe.
Just squeeze the trigger gently
And he’s dead!”
I chose, I breathed,
I gently squeezed,
That’s how I shot your friend.

I’m not sure who shot you.
But now you’re all patched up
With simple dressing
Pressing on the shoulder wound.
We share a cigarette
Your fingers shake,
Your face washed grey.
Inside I say
“Be glad, because
Despite the blood the medic said
The wound will heal up well.
For you the war is over now,
You’ve just escaped from Hell.
For me the story’s different;
I know where it will end.
So please live your life for both of us,
My sad-eyed Tommy friend.”

© Richard Lindsay 2015