Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Warrior’s Dream

Warrior’s Dream

Though fully asleep in his makeshift bed,
Dreaming about sleeping without dreaming;
With gray twilit thoughts running through his head,
He awoke, and could hear the clouds screaming.

The tortured day moaned bright red as it broke,
Pierced by the soft molten gold of the sun,
As the cold veil of night, rent in one stroke,
Scattered in tatters -- a new day begun.

Gathering remnants of life on the street,
His mobile home in an old shopping cart,
He began his quest for something to eat,
To feed his spirit, and to fuel his heart.

The busy city was always awake,
For city dreams are cheerless nightmares.
With no one to give, and nothing to take,
He futilely searched for someone who cares.

He drifted with the tattered detritus,
The remnants of worn-out humanity;
Unable to effectively fight us,
When we discard what we don’t want to see.

He fell to the street, against a stone wall,
His eyes were mere slits, as he tried to see
An old photograph, very worn, very small;
And cried as he gazed at his family.

Sharp memories flooded his clouded mind,
Piercing the fog that surrounded his core.
His agony leaving him nearly blind,
He staggered erect, and fell down once more.

A flash of green light touched his injured eyes,
And strong arms lifted him onto his feet.
He stood without pain, and to his surprise,
He heard wondrous singing, poignant and sweet.

The Minstrel just smiled and then stepped aside,
So that he could look across the wide drive.
His eyes filled with tears, and again he cried,
His dead family was there...and alive!

He ran to join them, his arms open wide;
He gathered them close and they disappeared.
The Minstrel knelt by the shell, cast aside,
And said: "An old soldier should be revered."

As the evening air steamed with his breath,
He held old dog tags and medals to pray:
"Though every warrior must meet death,
It should not be alone, and not this way."

He stood guard until the police got there,
Watched as the fragile remains were retrieved,
Then he vanished into the twilight air;
Angry that nobody knew, no one grieved.

Mick McKellar
September 2014

When I read that so many homeless veterans die alone on the streets, I felt ashamed.


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