"A True War Story" ~ Read all the way to the end ...

A True War Story

My friend's uncle 
was a Marine in Korea.
His squad came to a cluster of huts,
smoke drifting up from one.
The squad leader ordered him
to go into that hut,
to kill everyone inside.
He stepped cautiously through that door
and waited for his eyes to adjust.
In the dim light he saw a terrified woman,
children huddled up against her.
He squeezed the trigger of his M-1,
emptied it into the thatched roof.
No one spoke
when he stepped back out 
through that doorway.

Back home
when he told the old people
what he had done,
they gave him a new name:
and made him the Giver of Names
for new born children.

Lost Horse Press, 2009