Signs of a Struggle


Pity the dead, face frozen in shock,

the leaking skin and empty bone clawing

the victor for mercy, its eye’s last look

thrown into a hole with a face full of dirt. 


Pity more the living, unburying the unfeeling

dead, bearing all their loads, a rag to hide 

the bashful body, a conceit the shy mind, 

eyes tearing into a cold dirty wind.  


And pity most the poet’s, bearing slayer and slain, 

the horrible and the horrified, scanning the crime 

and convulsing out inadequate rhymes from discard, 

songs from discord, and visions from the hideous sight of history.