In the first eddies of a blistering hot day-to-be
rolling waves of sun-ravaged wind cross the field between them,
and the parched land sees no respite in the skies above,
where an oven of air bakes the landscape crispend brown.
He kneels behind a chunk of granite this morning,
as hunger and lack of water roll in his stomach,
and quickly feels the old fears return to swell his heart,
and rekindle recent memories of man’s hatred of man.
A blue wave forms a quarter mile to the north of the withered field,
blue hats aligned along the edge of a grove of apple trees,
the clattering of war and fury echoing across this field,
bearing the fruit of death in the cacophony that grows by second.
In his hands, a hand-me-down hunting knife,
and on his back the tattered remains of a backpack,
filled not with food nor ammunition, for there be none to have,
but carrying the precious writing of his love,…his wife.
He reaches down and pulls at what little remains of his shoes,
struggling to keep the little protection they offer him intact one more time,
and reties the bandage that holds the right sole to his foot,
as the sounds of death surround him yet again this day.
She toils 100 miles to the south,
fretting day-to-day for the return of her beloved,
working the land for meager food and life,
and to hold things together till the day he returns.
Tirelessly she works,
knowing full well she may even now be widowed,
yet hope assails her heart,
and love knows no rest.
She imagines what her husband might face this day,
as she wipes her brow and scans the morning heat,
worry engulfing her heart,
and laboring her breath to that of near panic…
for she feels his fear so far north,
and knows for all that she is that he is at death’s doors,
and drops to ground to reveal to her God her inner most being,
and to share the love she has for husband with the Almighty Himself.
To the north, the blue lines continue to mass and form,
serpentine and deadly upon the primal lands,
and the noise grows as yelling and screaming commences,
to be followed by the blast of a single cannon,………
……….and the charge of 200 men!
Around him are his grey-coat comrades,
the look of death upon their faces,
and the prayers to God plentiful as lips whisper,
and desperate thoughts are shared by hearts at the very edge.
Thundering footsteps echo the land,
and as the blue bolt of lightning casts its way through hazy waves of heat,
the sounds of primitive war and chaos and death fill his ears,
and cause his stomach to sour.
At 100 yards, gunshots go off, and cannons shout over the din,
and he sees those in front of him he is about to confront,…
young men screaming, but eyes wide open with fear of the unknown,
sprinting into the very jaws of death without a second to slow or consider.
Jumping upon his rock is a teenaged boy with bayonet.and peaking behind the rock,
he spots his foe, and pulls down his bayonet as his target lunges at him with knife drawn.
Chest to chest they meet in the battle of who lives,
and who dies...
While to the south, the bedrock wife lifts her head from prayer,
having done all she can for the love of her life,
and grabs the plow to turn her dry and deadened plants under,
consumed by the tides of time and fate and hopelessness.