“Friendly Fire” strikes me as a strange way
To describe the killing of a brother or sister.
I remember cold nights by pot-bellied stoves,
Bonfires crackling while singing camp songs,
A lamp in the window welcoming me home,
Shivering my way to the basement to shovel coal
And running back up the stairs to my bed
To wait for the pounding of the radiator.
“Friendly Fire” doesn’t ease a mother’s pain
Or lessen the agony of a grieving spouse.
It won’t fill the hole in the heart
Of a loved one’s absence from the home.
No matter what you choose to name it,
There’s no rational way to frame it.
But calling accidental murder “friendly fire”
Destroys all the warm memories of past encounters.