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The stench of gunpowder and rotting flesh,

Saturates the smoke-filled air.

Screams of pain and anguish,

Echoing from every direction.

They forget what they fight for,

Or whether they fight for right.

To eat a home-cooked meal,

Feel the touch of a loved one again.

These are now dreams of the past,

The last hopes a soldier can grasp.

All around, bodies fall,

Crumpling lifeless to the ground.

Blood everywhere,

Missing limbs scattered among the dead.

One man's final gunshot,

Causes his final enemy to fall.

It's a boy, perhaps of 17,

Not yet reached the age of manhood.

His killer stands still,

Tears filling his eyes.

His heart cries out in anguish,

For having ended the life of a child.

He cannot deal with the guilt,

His thoughts drive him insane.

And in the middle of the night,

One more shot rings from his gun.

His body crumples beside the boy,

Lifeless eyes staring into the abyss.

And when it all ends,

And peace reigns again,

Someone, somewhere,

Sheds tears for them.

They fade away, names forgotten,

As they're counted in the list,

Of the anonymous casualties of war.