Monday, 6 June 2022

Thousands Deep

by Nick Gisburne

She smells the ash, the blood, the stink, the sweat,
The damp, disgusting odour of disease,
But does not see the sacrilege, not yet.
No march, no mayhem, blows upon the breeze.
At last, the grey horizon boils with dust,
A storm of nations, wider than a mile.
She looks upon their legions with disgust,
Resisting every urge to stir a smile.
A rider, on a pale, appalling beast,
Presents a flag of parley to the field.
She joins him; she, the queen, from he, the priest,
Receives the terms to which her youth must yield.
    She cuts the traitor’s throat and, as he dies,
    Her forces, thousands deep, obscure the skies.