Two soldiers in an empty room.
One on his bed, a tale he read.
Bleak barracks, sombre like a tomb;
The second woke and quietly spoke:
“I feel this day a sense of doom,
For with a knife I took a life.”
The other answered in the gloom:
“Then I must know — a friend or foe?
I think a foe — that I’ll assume —
The one who fell — so all is well.”
And so did silence then resume;
But one, afraid, he clutched a blade.
— D.N. O’Brien