Toy Soldiers in Maple’s Autumn

I would if I could tell you we died well
that in glorious fashion a charge we led
such that men might remember and tell stories
these things I would love to tell you about
but the truth is not simple
it never is

instead on a fall’s cold day staring down
the impending onslaught of winter’s embrace
an old man stooped in the last sad rays of muted sunlight
blood that once ran hot in his veins
now lies tacky, spilled on forested floors

a valiant knight once stood tall in his saddle,
white hair signifying an age but not condemning
him to the sentence of a number
his brave band of armed countrymen stand defiant, to the last
against the coming assault; a ragged fence

I would if I could tell you that he died well
but, in the summer’s last light his life he gave
stood barrier between women and men, so proud and brave
however as the sun sank low in the western sky
with puncture wound drawn open, he led his charge, bled and fell

the knight we so bravely and so valiantly defended
stood tall in his saddle for the very last time
but even our brave Lord could not hold out
against the final insults of treacherous hands
placed in power by the same ones that stripped him bare

and we brave few held out as long as we dared
no matter time of day we kept our charge close
until bitter end when we too must give up this ghost
facing the long slow fall on brisk breeze’s wings
back towards the earth from once we sprang

the piles of our fallen brethren
await collection by unknown hands
uncaring as they are piled into
heavy plastic bags in an attempt to
ferry us away

but my brothers do not go easily
and in one last act of defiance
destroy the bonds that attempt to hold them
scattered to the winds as prisoners set loose
their muted rustle marks passage of time
but they do not get far, poor lost squires

dead mingled with dead
vibrant colors drained to earthly brown
I would if I could tell you that we died well

© 2013 p.hill

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