The Battle


The morning dawns bright and clear
Yet a silence hangs upon the land
As solid as any wall

The air is still
And the birds are silent
Even the light seems duller

Man and beasts whisper
A clang of spoon on bowl
Sounds like a fire cracker

Here and there
A young man would look
Hoping to see a sign

Yet the morning grows old
And the men joke
Yet the silence remains

As physical as a man
Yet as unnatural as a ghost
A silent spectre in our midst

Then the silence shatters
With a roll of far off thunder
That shakes the air and ground

And as if in answer
The air splits into a scream
That ends with a unnatural boom

Whenever the air screamed
The earth became dust
And the flesh became ash

I would see my friend one moment
And the next I could only see his hand
The rest had become a stain

On and on the thunder rolled
Again and again the air screamed
The ground trembled and men cried

Then came the call
That the enemy was advancing
We gathered ourselves

Black dots across the way
Approached like ghosts
Across the barren field

I pull out a silver locket
On one side is a picture
Of two girls and a woman

The other holds these words
“We love you daddy.
Come home soon!”

I kiss their faces
Praying I seem them again
Then I tuck it away

And defend them
So far away

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