Friendly Fire

A poem by Leeza Coleman


They love animals.

They believe in peace.


Eyelids at half mast;

hearts clenched,

minds in the fetal position

so they do not have to think, see, feel, know

beyond the ease of their carefully constructed womb-of-life

where their whims and wants can be indulged

without care about the consequences

for someone else.


But they love animals.

They swear by peace.


When they are ready to be fed

they roll themselves to the dinner table.

To show that they are gentle people

they smile and laugh

and talk about happy things.


They make sure that what they are about to eat is appealing in presentation:

it has been seasoned, sauced, burnt, disguised, camouflaged beyond recognition.

There may be a bit of something green, perhaps parsley, dancing on top.

And their plates are pretty.

There are smiles on their faces.


But their hands hold weapons – knives –

to saw the putrefying body parts

of their sibling species

whose body parts lie on their pretty dinner plates.


Animals whose brutal torture and ghastly deaths

they have not had to witness;

whose despair they refuse to acknowledge;

whose dying screams they have not had to hear.


Their pretty plates are a graveyard as grim as any battlefield.


The enemy?

No, they love animals.

Friendly fire.


Image adapted from Hopefulromntic (Wikimedia Commons)