Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 4:54 am | Overcast 57º

 
 
 
 

Ken Williams: The Words of War — A Veterans Day Poem

The Bullet

Heavy air, infused
steamed like morning coffee
Sticky slime
Movement sluggish, efforts stifled
The air oppressive, humid
cement liquefied
Yet sliced like butter,
the supersonic bullet

You missed
I felt the air compressed,
a tiny shock wave binging    
Yet loudly it spoke,
nuzzling my temple that day

You missed
I felt the earth vibrate,
bullet digging into the bomb crater lip,
shuddering its violent message
Death the messenger

You missed
An inch
it passed
Whizzing streak
Death,
an inch away
Life by an inch

You missed
God's design?
Or fortunate luck?
Perhaps happenstance
or did odds speak?

You missed
You aimed high?
Or sighted low?
Too far left?
Too far right?

You missed
Were you shaken by fear?
Or blinded by hatred?
Your humanity crippling the sniper’s skill?
Or your faith served by a miss?

You missed
Were your sights not sighted?
Or did hands tremble?
Was the rifle’s stable robbed?
Or, perhaps God's breathe deflecting?

You missed
Because God cared?
Or odds played without God involved?
Life was chanced that day —
Death missed, forever postponed another day.

Ken Williams has been a social worker for the homeless for the past 30 years, and is the author of China White, Shattered Dreams: A Story of the Streets and his first nonfiction book, There Must Be Honor. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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