"7.62 Millimeter"

I never knew the man I killed
on that Arabian summer day.
I never knew the pain he felt
as his life had slipped away.
I never knew his children lost
by bullets aimed astray.
I never saw his crying wife
when she heard the news that day.
I never knew the vows he swore
or the god to whom he prayed.
His promise to avenge beloved victims
of foreign evils who wished to stay.
I will never forget the eternal tragedy
of that man's final day.
When he ran across the alley shooting
what decisions could I make?
He shot at me, he chose to die.
No glory for the brave.
I chose to live, I pulled the trigger.
The filthy gutter was his grave.
In every war people die.
War is hell they say.
But they didn't know the man I killed
like I knew him that day.
If I could have met the man I killed
before I took his life away,
I would have told him I wish we could have met
another time, another place.

[Name withheld]

From a 28 July 2004 post at: