The Warrior Has Fallen

The warrior has fallen,
the armor joint between his chin and his chest
pierced by an arrow.
A lucky shot from across the field,
severing an artery:
the warrior has fallen.

The foot soldiers rush forward
to pull the warrior from beneath his war horse.
They lift his helmet:
blood runs from his open mouth, jaw slack.
Arrows continue to fall.
The foot soldiers rush forward.

The lancers are advancing
from across the field, their pikes sticky with the blood
of screaming peasants
who had walked to war with staves and clubs,
victory promised to them.
The lancers are advancing.

Untrained field hands are huddling
without shields and armor, watching for a signal.
But the warrior
is dead or dying, despite his armor
and his war horse, and his gold.
Untrained field hands are huddling.

Chaos on top of carnage,
the army of serf soldiers attempting to flee.
Escape routes closing,
horsemen chase them down, blocking
their paths into the forest,
chaos on top of carnage.

The warrior has fallen.
As he dropped his commanding aura died with him.
Confused and frightened
servants suddenly understand war:
there are no sure victories.
The warrior has fallen.

Copyright 2004, J. Eric Smith

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