the believer’s lament

by Aqeela Naqvi

I stand at the edge of something vast.
The push and the pull of centuries and the universe,
a battle between light and dark
rages across the fields of my soul.
 
“Steady your arms, men! Brace the line, men!”
The clamor of shields, the cacophony of
this vessel of steel marching forward
into the stirring emptiness of the woods,
ancient trees beckoning with their gnarled hands.
 
All light leaves as we move into the darkness.
Deafening silence, the stillness of morning
after snowfall. “Keep to the path men!”
The screech of a raven, a broken cry, a
shrill wailing for love lost to shadows.

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