A Sense of Loss Unending

Jacqueline Weir

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.

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