White flag waving in front of a fence (Unsplash, Pedro Farto)

Parce domine

The rustle at the start of the day
swells like trumpets at the charge of war. 
I stand at the precipice, ten thousand like me
on my flank. Swords at the hilt. Metaled, 
breast to bone. 

I dare not look back, not into the soft 
yesterday. But into the breach, flag waving, 
tugging on the misfit passions within;
they, too, will unfurl, for they must
when the melee is joined

steps out from the sunrise.


I have never seen such brokenness
rolling, like tumbleweed, in the after-fog. 
The still is deafening, as I stand outside
myself, looking on: ten thousand thousand
with no mercy felled, the stench in plumes ascending. 

I have made it here, beyond the charge. 
But I could not say who has won the day,
or what even was to be won. The sun, I know,
is tired of watching plaguing passions
clutch in fits of men. Is it not enough, she asks,

to accept the day?

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