Thurman P. Woodfork

COMPASSION BEGINS… AND ENDS

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: November 23, 2004
Awarded: November 23, 2004
He slowly approaches his fallen foe
As tension fills the air,
And he warily scrutinizes
The crumpled figure lying there.

He remembers stern warnings
About booby traps he’s received,
But he’s young and inexperienced
And he doesn’t quite believe…

The other man is still breathing,
He can see the chest fall and rise;
His own breath stops in his throat
And sweat stings his eyes.

He sees the blood staining the ground
And hears a soft, pained moan;
Compassion wills him to aid this kid
As though he were one of his own.

His rifle wavers, then lowers
As pity conquers his fear,
Then the enemy’s eyes open wide…
And they are cold and clear.

The GI’s rifle swings back up
As he whispers for his mother,
Realizing the mistake he’s made
And that he’ll never make another.

This poem was written conjunction with the poem, “Set Me Free” - ©Copyright November 19, 2004 by Thurman P. Woodfork