Nancy L. Meek


You suffer with guilt from killing our foe
who would’ve killed you with arrow and bow,
bullets and rifle, war cannon and ball,
the war weapon moot, as long as you fall.

It’s a healthy response to a moral transgression,
perceived as a symptom demanding confession
for harms you inflicted in the madness of war,
that you keep locked away or “Bar the door!”

Anything can happen and most probably will
when you’re issued a weapon and ordered to kill;
shouldering the blame only vets understand,
the trauma too great, the judgment too grand.

We may label you “crazy”, “sick” or the like
as traumatic nightmares continue to strike,
the guilt driven inward by a slow twisting blade…
another war weapon we humans have made.