Fallen Comrades

Their golden liveries bloodied, turning to rust,
My fallen comrades cover the forest floor,
From deep within its core to its door,
Eaten by rot and worms, blown like dust.

Their life taken away as the season finished,
They lie there, layer upon thick layer,
Gone to rest without even a prayer,
Forgotten multitude of my brothers who perished.

I hold still, awaiting for my enemy
Knowing that my own life is running away
Last survivor of that innumerable army,
Who last spring fought bravely and would not sway.

I feel the touch of an angel’s wings,
Its translucent whiteness telling me it’s time to rest,
And join my brothers in their grave for animals to fest,
As ermine covers them, the earth waits for the first bird to sing.

2008 Christian Martin