Battle

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on February 11, 2010 0 Comments

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He stands tall, armor gleaming in the sun
Sun specks jagged edges on dented bronze
His shield is pocked and battle-scarred
A trace of gore oozes down across the crest
He gazes across the field of battle
His many foes lie slain or dying
Carrion birds circle overhead, awaiting their cue

He sheathes his sword across his back
Strides purposefully toward the castle
Ignoring how his sandaled feet sink
As if walking through mud and not a battleground

He can see her gazing from the window
Her hair glistens in the dappled sunlight
He fights his way past guards at the gate
Ignoring their pleas for pity, he has none
(Their faces look like schoolyard bullies)

Through the castle he goes, fighting
Each foe dispatched cruelly, violently
His eye is focused on that upstairs room
Where she waits behind locked doors
Guarded by men or monsters, he knows not

Up the worn stone stairs, grooves marked by feet
Over the centuries this castle has stood
Slippery with blood now, and tinged with
(A notebook’s pages strewn across the risers)
The lifeblood of the men keeping him from his prize

He gains the upper floors, faces a monstrosity
Its face terrifying, its many arms and legs clenched
With rage at the puny interloper below it
It draws its weapons, a sword, a mace, a chain
(A marking pen, a snide remark made to the class)
Advances on the warrior envisioning his cruel death

Our hero raises his shield and blocks the blows
That rain down from every side and angle
He hacks at the creature’s many arms and legs
Envisioning the wrongs he is righting, and his prize
Which gives him strength to go on

Finally, the monster lies dead, its face reflecting
(Institutional fluorescent lights from the hallway)
Torches burning on the castle walls and the setting sun
He raises his crimson-soaked sword and hacks at the door
Battering the aged wood, the only thing keeping him away
From her, his prize, his love, his reason for life

With a crash, the door falls under his attack and
There she is, a vision, the setting sun lighting her
From behind, casting the body under her dress
Into shadowy relief, her form is so perfect
He sheathes his sword across his back and
Takes her into his arms and

“Come eat your supper!  It’s getting cold”
His mother shouts and the boy puts
His game controller down, gazing longingly
At the face on the screen, who has morphed
From the girl in English Composition
To a pixellated caricature of a woman

His skinny arms and legs, bruised from
Beatings he’s taken this week at school
Carry him out of his refuge, his bedroom
Into the light of the sad house he lives in
Where his dreams of heroics fall broken
When his eyes open each morning.

As the door closes, his princess
Looks longingly at her savior
A tear rolls down the screen.

About the Author ()

I love Pat Metheney, Jaco Pastorius, Miles Davis, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd and King Crimson, as well as Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. I write fiction, which is my favorite genre, but I sometimes vent using really bad poetry. I have no aspiration to be a p

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