Nancy L. Meek

FINAL AGREEMENT

I remember…
unable to repress the scene
assaulting my forebrain…
that bullet whizzing past me,
so relieved it sped on by,
grateful it wasn’t my day
my hour… my time
to die;
that is, till I realized
and saw once more
it wasn’t me who took it square
in the middle of the head.

It was my buddy there,
lying prone beside me,
who claimed that damned bullet…
the one with “my” name on it;
or at least it should have been mine;
but the war
simply wouldn’t play fair;
and now, he’s the one dead.
How can I make it up to him
for trading places that day…
my spot in the trench, for his?

Oh, I can see it like it was just yesterday!

I had claimed I couldn’t see
and suggested we switch…
I, the sharpshooter
and he…
well, he couldn’t hit the side of a barn
and he knew it…
Oh, God, he knew it!
So, he agreed…
and we always swore
if one of us didn’t make it back
the other would never forget
the sacrifices we made.

And the problem is…
I remember!