27 November, 2013

The Long Slow March

'Tis a long slow march beyond the middle sea, where monsters flail and gnash their teeth. 'Tis a long slow march within the neverwhere, for the sun beats hard upon our weary heads. Blistered feet and weary limbs trudging ever onwards. Heads hang down and shoulders droop beneath the weight of armour. It's times like this that makes one regret the choice to join the army. It's times like this that you remember how frail, how blessed you are. Stretchers bear the sick and dying, the smell clings to our nostrils. Decaying flesh and bloody breaths, the rats need no other trail.

'Tis a long slow march after war is done, when neither side has won. Too many losses, too many brothers, both sides lost heart and stared. 'Tis a long slow march remembering the dead and how you didn't know. How Tommy was a father and Mischa had no mother and Reynald had a sweet heart. Tommy used to think up games to play, while Mischa played mouth organ all day. Reynald used to daydream until the sergeant made him jump. Now they lie in long muddy rows beneath the pounded dirt, where friend and foe were buried so disease would spread no more.

'Tis a long slow march when I think of home and all I left behind, but I heard that while we were away, the whole town had been wiped out. 'Tis a long slow march when there's nothing to return to, but broken buildings and loss. My wife, my children, my dog, my cat, Mum's vase sitting in the window. We go to war to prevent the loss, but in the end it's futile. For I did the same to another man and now we are truly equal.

'Tis a long slow march alone with your thoughts, I don't think I'll last much longer. This torture, this drudgery, this never ending glare - for me, I feel I've had enough. 'Tis a long slow march with a downward spiral, into the pit of despair. Others have gone, left me behind and what am I now to do?

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