Defeat

Defeat

The last losing stragglers off the battlefield,
a cease-fire seizing the heart,
loosening the lungs,
untying pride.

They’ve been told to turn their backs
to the enemy,
gather their dead,
walk toward surrender.

But worse than the bullets that do not come
are the eyes on their retreat,
the enemy’s shining conceit
as their conviction burns
their faith bleeds its last iron into the soil
and disappears.