The Sweet taste of Revenge – Esther N.Hanghal

I woke up today with the bitter taste

Of cinders in my mouth.

And then I remembered.

 

Yesterday I had killed

Two men, a woman

And a child.

I had grasped the borrowed AK-47

My sweaty fingers slipping,

The hot blood metal smell

In my nostrils as I

Pulled the trigger and let fly

A staccato of bullets.

 

One,

For the wife I’d lost

The night they came plundering

Looking for those that spoke

A different tongue,

Worshipped different gods.

 

Two,

For the unborn child

That was to have borne my name

And now will never know

The light of day.

 

The third,

For the sleepy gray years they snatched

From my father aged eighty-three

As he slept under his favourite tree.

 

And one more,

For all the dreams they killed

In a house now silent as a grave.

The night they came and marked

Battle lines in blood.

 

And so it’s only fair that they pay

An eye for an eye

A tooth for a tooth

As they say.

 

That is as much justice as a man can expect

On this earth.

They told me,

Revenge is sweet, brother,

And that is what you must claim

For yourself

And so I did.

I paid them back:

Bullet for bullet, life for life.

 

Why then do their screams shatter

The stillness of my dreamless nights

Why this bitter taste

Of cinders in my mouth?

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