A lifetime

Killing someone is disturbingly clinical. For those who are best at it, it’s a skill like any other that they take a pride in.

This poem was based on a conversation with a young Royal Marine in the swamps on the Iraqi border. He was a good bloke, very smart and after a week of working with him, I realized he had killed just short of double his age of other men.

For the record, he was 22.

A lifetime

Breathe in,

The intake,


Light headed,

Drunk on air,

Eye shut,

Eye open

Pressed firm against the rubber scope,

Hands caress hard plastic,

Fingers brush

Ice cold metal,

Thumb flicks safety,

Deadly foreplay,

Breathe out



Time loses meaning


Man and tool united,

Living weapon,

Jagged vision

Spirals into

A single point,

On target.

Breathe out

A fingers caress,

Sharp retort

And far away

His figure slumps,

A lifetime taken.

I breathe easy again.

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