A poem based on a real event that I recall hearing about in the local news. This was a while back, but it sort of came to mind for some reason when I started writing the first two lines.

Each digit collapsed and curled.

Into open palms, they contort and become the power of fists.

Delivering life through the veins, They thrust forth with fiery demand.

I’ve felt the sting of pain as knuckles meet knuckles. And wept the tears that flowed thereafter.

I’ve oft wondered their sorrow as they trembled, hoping to not breed more suffering.

Was it a flash of anger they responded to or the indignity of fear?

I’ve hoped to never have to lift my fists in destruction but trained to defend what was right.

Self-defense they say it was. I stood amongst an assortment of people that witnessed the spectacle, but my mind knew the terror of what I had done.

They approached with knife in hand and I had none. A reaction of life. A swift decision that held no remorse ‘til it was done.

Two young kids, foolish and taunting. They felt they could control anything with a blade, but it wasn’t their day.

My training had given me skills. I had warned them with several words. They were told I was Death made by man. The warning went by their ears phasing not their sensibilities.

Steel was something they had. It gave them purpose. It gave them power. Steel was their god and it had been their undoing.

The first motion. A sweep of the gleaming edge. It never touched its target but found the blood of the wielder upon its skin.

Buried in a beating heart, it pulsed with life. The second child saw the sight. Cried out, “Murderer!”

His face felt a crushing blow as he thrust his blade forth.

He never saw it. The foot that broke his jaw, but it tumbled him over into the earthen ground.

Sirens wailed into the scene. Men with guns, rushed and cuffed. The one who still did stand. His victory, not a sight, they could understand.

Days came and they went. In a prison, he did sit. Telling his tale of two foolish kids that thought to test.

One of the military’s great Elite.  

Submitted: May 04, 2018

© Copyright 2023 A.K.Taylor. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


B Douglas Slack

This is actually a problem with our highly-trained men in uniform. If they react to a civilian threat with too much vigor, they become the one at fault regardless of the outcome. It's totally unfair.


Fri, May 4th, 2018 6:11pm


I agree, but I do see the potential for the situation to get out of hand. Military personnel are generally trained to neutralize a threat usually in the most effective way possible. Although my scenario is probably detailed differently, it is rather reminiscent of the event I heard about. I don't remember if the person in question got off or not, but I do remember something about it in SC news. This was about 8 or 10 years ago, I believe. If I remember correctly, he was protecting himself and his wife/girlfriend also.

Fri, May 4th, 2018 4:03pm


Kids with knives.....becoming something that is way too common and very hard to deal with. If you don't react hard enough you'll get hurt but react too hard and you are to blame.
Nicely written, Akumakaze.

Fri, May 4th, 2018 8:23pm


Funny thing is that in my state. Anything over a two-inch blade is considered illegal to have or own(if I'm not mistaken), but practically every hunting store sells knives with double or more that length. I've always laughed at the concept of illegal to have, but not illegal to sell.
But it doesn't matter. If someone wants something bad enough, they'll find a way to get it.

As for the reaction, yeah, it's a tough call, especially when lives are threatened.

Fri, May 4th, 2018 4:17pm

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