As the sole torch-bearer fell The others, His comrades, Turned to see him His face in the red dust The blood from his mouth A screaming contrast. It was a belief They had no wish to hold But they could not stop; Helplessness was a burden To be borne alone. The fire still burning in his bruised hand He did not look up For fear of the pity He knew he would have felt, How he would have ached As they would have mourned. But in the darkness Of unseeing eyes Is there existence? A question and a prayer unanswered. The halting rhythm over, Their once pounding footfalls Dying into whispers: A solitary tear strikes the Earth. They are a memory in the horizon haze When he finally stands, The torch abandoned, Kicked away. "Perhaps another day," he says "We will all be victorious." He lies to himself As the blood stains his skin. The scars, Indelible reminders as he walks away. The flame, The fire in his heart goes out Leaving in its tender wake A sense of loss unending.