Blog # 63 (poesie) CRISES IN THE NIGHT

Remote on a forsaken snowdrift
With windswept eyes, he faced
An enemy blown in on North winds
A terror from the elements.
Scantily clad, he waited
Teeth set, lips trembling- with
Excitement or fear, he knew not which-
Minutes passed, cold and wet ones
Fatigue and pain subservient
To self preservation.
“Let them come, I am ready”
He repeated, yet girded himself and
Tried to wrap,
What few garments he had, about him-
Melodramatic and nostalgic
Thoughts recurred- of what had been
And what would be, if only.
He weakened at several times- but
At each lapse recovered spirit.

After eternities, he shifted feet
And noticed the previous stiffness
Now, afraid to move-
Lest physical relief banish determination.
At last, temptation ever gaining ground,
With diminishing hours and increased pain-
He moved—about a step
And then, defeat followed,hot upon heels
It had come – would soon come
Now it mattered not, for he had lost.

With shame in his breast, he
Returned indoors-where
Strangely comforting-
The will to do battle left him.
He settled in the warmest corner
Where the others were resting, and …
At last, his hand let go the sword
Clenched in his tightened fist
And let it fall with a clatter
Amidst the great pile of swords
In the middle of the room.

-p (attributed to Leonard N. Shapiro, circa.  1949, w/ed.)


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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