In grotesque disarray,
Lie like the silent dead,
A testament to the violence of battle.
They rise in the witness box,
Tossed and rolled in struggle,
Against the demons of personal Apocalypse.
They whisper the tale.
How Doubt pointed her flint sword.
How Fear burnt across the field.
Dragon's fetid torch
Scorching the soul.
How Remorse closed his icy fingers.
Choking the heart.
How Shame, pale rider of death,
Mounted on his bony steed named Guilt,
With sword of unrelenting,
He trampled the wounded beneath hooves of iron.
This was an agony of the soul.
This was the knell of disappointment,
Of knowing pain inflicted on the heart of the One.
The One loved.
The One cherished.
The One to whom was sworn protection,
Apology, though given a dozen ways, was not enough
To assuage the bitterness of her wounded heart.
Though offered definitively, was insufficient balm
To bind up the gash apparent in her soul.
Trust carefully built over months
Has been dismantled.
Not merely broken.
The words resound like a judge's voice in a silenced courtroom.
The clock turned in the reversing of time,
Of history built,
And now razed.
As though to a time when others stood
Axes in hand.
Taking turns hacking
They chopped against
The trunk of her magnificence,
Determined to cut away at the pillar rising from her roots.
I have risen pain-wracked,
Doubt, Fear, Remorse, and Shame
Cackling their banshee accusations.
Has mine been the final cut?
Have I at last been the one
The fragile thread of love?
Has she tottered her last
And fallen to rest dying
In the humus of decayed promise?
Oh, that I could return
That final chip.
Oh, that with the rising of the sun
I could feel the rays of hope
Rather than the gall of her disappointment.
Oh, that rather than the gurgle of death
I could hear those three words,
Sweet as honey,
Rising as a song on golden bird's wing.
I forgive you.