Nancy L. Meek

HAVING NO CHOICE

My finger was pulling the trigger
Having no choice but to do the deed
Faithful to my stripes
And the will to survive
Sharing in his thoughts, “Him or me?”

Perhaps he, too, is a number one son
Thrown into the fire, being tested and tried
Having no other choice
Hearing a mother’s voice,
Plaintively crying, “Come back home alive!”

Who would blame me for what I was doing
For anyone else would do the same
Left alone to decide
Who should have to die
Him or me? God silent in the heat of the fray

Then it was over. for that boy on the ground
But for me, the battle had just begun
Having made the choice
Once more I heard God’s voice
No longer silent in the dusk of the dying sun

Through conflict, He showed me what hate can do
Experiencing face-to-face the effects of war
How it could push me to kill
Challenging my very own will
A part of me dying, wondering what we’re fighting for

I was a long way from home, a long way from God
Fighting a battle in a land not my own
Surrounded by the fight
On a hot, dark summer night
Daggers of guilt tearing through me

God! If I do not make it out of this mess
I swear, the first thing I am going to do
Is to find this boy I just killed
And ask him how it felt
“Who suffered the bullets worst, me or you?”

Then after. I am going to ask him
(If I should dare) for him to pardon me
For I, in the heat of the fire
Was pushed swiftly to the wire
With no other choice. Damn this quandary!

Silent was God, while I was still learning
While trying to find my own way
He had left me alone
So I could learn on my own
Still, Father was watching through the heat of the fray

And I realized who this young boy really was
Looking up to heaven through silent eyes
He was not my enemy
He was just someone like me
Trying to make his way through flaming skies

I wonder, sometimes, why that boy’s finger hesitated
Was he truly contemplating “him or me”
Did he have no choice, learning today
That violence is not the way
That love is the answer in the search for peace
?