The officer in charge of the firing squad
knows he was the one
who killed the Ceausescu’s
because his comrades fumbled their triggers
and his bullets raked the bodies
of the dictator and his wife.
The officer stands in the street
where it happened
kicking at loose stones
remembering how the smoke cleared
and they propped up the bodies for the cameras
which had filmed the trial
earlier that day
the tying up of the condemned
and the pleading as the end drew near.
Elena called out
“Why are you doing this?
I was like a mother to you.”
A soldier replied,
“You tortured your people
with empty lives and shelves.
No one can help you now.”
He tried to drag her away.
Elena screamed, “Let us die together,”
and the officer was moved to agree
before pushing the pair
into the footpath clumped with snow.
It’s warmer now for the film crew
as the officer tugs on the sleeve of his jumper.
“I’d do it again,” he says looking down.
“The old bastards deserved
Image by Jens Lelie