Brian Turner, an American Iraq war veteran, in his book of poems, Here, Bullet, writes concerning Iraq and the war there. His poetry is sensitive to Americans fighting the war, their enemies, the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi society and culture. In “Sadiq” (Friend) he speaks of what is the central reality of war.
It is a condition of wisdom in the archer to be patient
because when the arrow leaves the bow, it returns no more.
It should make you shake and sweat,
nightmare you, strand you in a desert
of irrevocable desolation, the consequences
seared into the vein, no matter what adrenaline
feeds the muscle its courage, no matter
what crackling pain and anger
you carry in your fists, my friend,
it should break your heart to kill.
* Turner, Brian. “Sadiq.” Here, Bullet. Farmington, Maine: Alice James Books, 2005.