Understanding

wing

On the battlefield alone alive, there stands a battered man

with dirt and sweat upon his shirt, a weapon in his hand.

His face etched by sun and sand, his hands black with blood,

he listens to the emptiness and sees the setting sun.

.

“What was it for?”  He begs a sky still pouring into black.

“I asked the same,” another man proclaims behind his back.

The mirror image of his face reflecting in his eyes,

his enemy now stands with him to contemplate their lives.

,

“All I want is peace on Earth, a child, a job, a life,

to treat my neighbor as myself and worship as I like,

a fireplace for winter and a garden in the spring,”

his enemy did say to him, “not fight this wretched thing!”

.

“But…you want to destroy us, you want our lands–our wives.”

“And I was told the same as you,  why would our leaders lie?”

“We’re standing here, it’s close to dark, with other people’s blood

still running down our clothing as we stand upon the mud.”

.

“I’ll go my way and you go yours, and hope we never meet,

if I’m to like my enemy, it surely means defeat!”

“If you still live in 20 years, perhaps we will be friends,

but I agree this cannot be the time our conflict ends.”

.

The war waged on, and one side won, the sun rose in the East.

But 1 man searched the continents in hopes of finding peace.

He found the others family and told the wife his story.

“My husband told the same to me, in war there is no glory.”

.

“Has he the answers that I seek?”  The man asked in reply.

She smiled at him a weathered grin and said with loving eyes,

“He swears that disagreement isn’t worthy of a fight,

he said that people everywhere are wanting what is right.”

.

“Please tell him that I feel the same, and every day I say,

the people sent to fight the wars must find another way.

For disagreement and dissent,  unity and purpose,

can coexist with liberty and freedom from coercion.”

.

“Is there a way for him to find the place where you reside?”

the woman asked expectantly before she said good bye.

He slowly scribbled his address and placed it in her hand,

then rode away to board a ship to take him to his land.

.

The soldier from the losing side did travel with his wife

to seek the man, address in hand, who once had spared his life.

He found a humble dwelling with a garden at the side,

and said, “His country won the war…but he lives worse than I.”

.

The 2 men sat upon a porch to watch the setting sun,

“What do you for a living?” Asked the other to the one.

“We lost the war, I went to work on rescue and rebuilding.

All of us will live in peace if only God is willing.”

.

“When traveling the world I found the ordinary person

wants peace and harmony for all, according to their version

but politics are left instead to people who are greedy,

who’ve not seen war, nor do they care to feed the very needy.”

.

“How do we tell our people of the things we had to do?”

The one man asked the other as he looked out at the view.

“It takes diligence and courage to keep your liberty.

If we want peace to last, my friend, it’s up to you and me.”