He Was the Enemy: A Soldier's Dilemma
By JonnieLynn Donatelli, Army
Writing Type: Poem
By JonnieLynn Donatelli
VA Medical Center—Bedford, MA
Amid the crossfire and confusion, I see him.
Guns are drawn, bullets flying, people yelling.
Smoke from fires outlines the soldiers’ bodies.
In a desperate attempt to capture the enemy,
They have dug in deep against the vehicles strewn all over.
It is chaos. An exhausting force of nature, human nature.
And I see him through my gunsights.
I see the sweaty smudges of dirt on his face.
His tears are falling to the ground like rain.
From my vantage point, I can almost feel his fear.
“I give up,” he yells to us. “I give up!”
But no one listens because he is the enemy.
I must shoot him or capture him.
And I prefer the latter.
“CEASE FIRE!” I scream. “STOP!”
And I realize I have no voice.
And I realize I am crying,
For my unknown enemy is lying on the ground.
“He is dead,” I cry softly.
But no one listens because he was the enemy.