It was, and is, a bright sunny day,
spring is alive and warm.
I walk down a narrow, dusty track,
there’s a duty I must perform.
The birds and the beasts of the field
grow silent as I walk by,
the Robin and Sparrow take to their wings
proclaiming my faith to the sky.
I walk in this silent processional,
eager, yet calm and infused
with the grinding truth of History
upon the stone of the World.
I climb a lonely hill
topped by a ruff of trees,
and as I near the edge of the copse
I drop down to my knees.
There’s one ridge more
to the other side,
it’s long and I cannot see
the valley ahead or the valley before,
the only one here is me.
I prepare myself with calming breaths,
in my hands the earth is warm,
in the distance a lonely trumpet cries
and there builds a thundering roar.
I crawl to the top of the ridge to see
the source of the frantic call,
and as I lay hidden a scene comes to be,
a dismal, horrific brawl.
On the side of the valley,
farthest away from me,
stand ten thousand confident men,
all of them gleaming in silver and steel,
pompous and arrogant then.
They strut and flaunt
their sharpened blades,
inspiring terror and pain.
Their commander laughs across the grass,
armor clanks across the plain.
Below me my eyes are temporally drawn
to a ragged, tired band.
They are less than a thousand
young men and old
their women at their backs.
They seem undaunted, stand so proud,
in moments I see why.
Their leader stands alone in the fore,
his eyes are burning fire.
He speaks with a tone so level and sure,
his love for his people glows,
his passion, infectious, urges them on
armed with sickles and hoes.
“To battle!” he cries, “for Truth and for Right!
Together we’ll conquer, Justice against Might!
Stand by your neighbor, defending his home,
and he’ll defend yours! Now go!”
They surge to the field,
both Farmer and Miller,
defending their prideland, their Home.
Army meets Army,
I hear the steel clash,
the defenders act out their rage in a flash.
The battle goes forward and back like the tide,
my hand, unbidden, strays to my side,
I long to go join them
and fight for a just cause
screaming their anger and pain.
But this rage is not mine,
I am here to be witness
to done deeds of valor and shame.
I am here to birth memories,
honor the song,
and to duty my tensions must strain.
As I watch the men fall
and the field bloom in red,
I council my heroes their courses.
The movements aren’t practiced
yet ever before this spring day
have the motions been acted.
The Raven above and the lone Wolf below
herald the end of the fray.
Their ghostly renditions,
the haunting completion,
echoes a long ago day.
The forest of steel, cut at the knees,
grew never again, and the few?
They triumph, yet lose,
the bed of their leader
lies under the wildflower rows.
The grasses now rustle,
are green with the dew,
clean yet remember the dead.
And I watch as they sway,
mimic the fray,
remember the day that has been.